Widespread interest in the Main Street Plaza controversy (or “Derekgate,” as it has come to be known at Rant Control Laboratories) attracted a flurry of comments this past week.
In “Kiss Off,” a July 10 online story detailing how LDS Church security handcuffed and brutalized City Weekly account manager Derek Jones and his boyfriend, Matt Aune, over the small matter of a chaste evening kiss, Jones said security guards claimed that “they do not allow any sort of public displays of affection on the easement, whatsoever.”
Commenter Phroot responded: “We’re talking about the church plaza, right? I lived just above there (seriously, less than a block north) and walked through frequently holding hands with or smooching my boyfriend—not to mention the countless other couples I’d seen doing the same. Oh, but that’s fine because it wasn’t against God, right?”
Apparently, that’s the way church defenders see it, Phroot. I just don’t know why they keep getting hung up on the legalities of the situation—when it is clearly a moral issue.
Yes, a moral issue: It may be perfectly legal for the LDS Church to kick people off its property for any reason it sees fit, just as it’s legal for the church to staff its security force with benighted homophobic goons who fly into stormtrooper mode at the slightest provocation.
But just because it’s legal doesn’t make it right.