Monday, July 13, 2009

Queers Protest Tacos and Temples with Same-Sex Lip-Locks

The gays are on the march again. Protests were staged in El Paso ,TX and Deseret, UT on Sunday in separate incidents involving same-sex kissing.

From The El Paso Times)
"EL PASO -- A boisterous demonstration supporting gay rights took place Friday outside an East Side Chico's Tacos where five men say they were kicked out after two of them kissed almost two weeks ago.

About 100 people picketed in front of the Chico's on Montwood, where they hoisted signs that read, 'El Paso is Diversity,' 'What About Our 1st Amendment Rights?' and '...With Liberty and Justice For All.'

Protesters lined both sides of the street outside the restaurant, chanted and urged motorists to honk in support.

Carlos Diaz de Leon, one of the five men and a leader in the protest, claims that about 12:30 a.m. June 29 he and four others were at Chico's when two of his friends kissed, prompting a private security guard to use an anti-gay slur in Spanish and to call police, who cited a statute on homosexual conduct declared unconstitutional six years ago.

On Thursday, Chico's owner Bernie Mora told Channel 7-KVIA that the restaurant serves tacos, not discrimination, and that during its 56-year history has welcomed everybody."

Attorneys from the ACLU have taken on the case and are considering legal action against Chico's Tacos, the security company and the El Paso Police Department.

Meanwhile in Deseret, UT, just south of Salt Lake City, about 60 demonstrators staged a PDA protest outside the local LDS temple over a similar incident involving a gay couple that were ejected by security guards from Temple Square over a same-sex lip-lock that took place last week.

(From the Deseret News)
"Former Salt Lake City Councilwoman Deeda Seed launched the idea from her Facebook page after two gay men, Derek Jones and Matthew Aune, were asked to leave the church-owned pedestrian walkway between North Temple and South Temple Thursday because of 'inappropriate behavior.' The men said they had been holding hands and kissed. Church officials called police, who cited the men for trespassing, after they became argumentative, used profanity and refused to leave the private property, said Farah.

'We're giving a visual demonstration of the power of love,' Seed said. 'And saying that it should be OK for people to show affections regardless of their sexual orientation or age.'

Salt Lake City Councilman Luke Garrott attended the event but was less pragmatic than Seed in his evaluation of the incident that sparked the demonstration.

'It's another instance of indignity being visited on gays and lesbians,' Garrott said. 'I knew this couple personally, they're friends of mine, so it hits close to home.'

'The big picture seems still to be lost on the church leadership,' Garrott said. 'The church is coming across not as defending traditional marriage but as being cruel to gay and lesbian couples. … I represent downtown Salt Lake City, and it's unacceptable to me.'"

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