Friday, July 31, 2009

My own experience on the Main Street Plaza

Image courtesy of Flickr.

"Two men say they were singled out and treated unfairly by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because they're gay. Salt Lake City police arrested the two for trespassing when they were asked to leave the Church's Main Street Plaza but refused to do so," reported KSL earlier this month.

A lot has been said about it. The first I heard of it, it went something like this: "All they did was kiss each other on the cheek and they got arrested!" I was doubtful that was really the case. Regardless, that's what was being circulated around the 'nets. I patiently waited to hear both sides of the story.

Not too long after, the Church released a statement saying the two men "engaged in passionate kissing, groping, profane and lewd language, and had obviously been using alcohol." Well there ya go. However, the misinformation had already been spread, nationwide protests have been scheduled, and bad things are still being said about my church and my faith.

I believe the Church was, and is, completely within their rights to enforce the rules they have on their private property which, by the way, are very strict. Allow me to share a personal experience I had on the Main Street Plaza.

One night I was there as part of an LDS youth group. It wasn't a huge group, maybe a dozen of us total, including leaders. While we were there, a security guard came out to talk to us because apparently we were getting too "rowdy" (I use that term loosely because I personally wouldn't have considered our behavior as disruptive). He was polite, but firm. Of course we toned it down a couple of notches, no harm done. But keep in mind - we were there as part of an LDS church activity... with our Bishop and they came out and told us to behave.

This experience illustrates two things:

1. They're strict.
2. They're strict with everyone.

I'm absolutely confident if a heterosexual couple was engaged in "passionate kissing, groping, profane and lewd language, and had obviously been using alcohol" the actions taken would have been the same as what happened to these two gay guys. So please stop making hateful, angry comments about my faith (or anybody else's for that matter).