Charges dropped against Utah gay couple who kissed on LDS property

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Charges dropped against Utah gay coupleCharges against a Utah gay couple have been dropped for trespassing after they kissed on LDS property. From the Salt Lake Tribune.

Salt Lake City Prosecutor Sim Gill said Wednesday he will not prosecute a gay couple cited for trespassing after they shared a kiss on the plaza.

“The two individuals believed — albeit mistakenly — that they had the right to be there,” Gill said. “Fairness requires that either that property be not open to the public or you condition that [openness] in a way that the person who comes on understands that it is private property.”

Gill said his decision not to prosecute this particular case “should not be viewed as limiting” the ability of the church to enforce its private-property rights on the plaza in the future.

“Going forward,” he said, “working toward clarity [on the plaza] serves everyone’s interests in this community.”

Gill’s analysis cites the lack of signs on the plaza that indicate visitors are entering private property “at will,” meaning they can be ejected at any time for any reason.

“The signs will obviously change on the plaza,” Wally Bugden, Jones’ defense attorney said. “The vast majority of the public believed that there was a public corridor.”

Since the incident supporters have staged kiss-ins in Salt Lake and San Diego protesting the actions of the LDS church. Those protests have also inspired a national kiss-in campaign.

Update: A surveillance video (no audio) has been released of the incident showing LDS security roughing up the gay couple.

Post by ILO on 07/30/09 at 10:48 am