Multiple incidents around the country
sparked Saturday's nationwide gay kiss-in, according to its
In San Diego, for instance, men and
women puckered up to protest the passing of Proposition 8,
California's gay marriage ban narrowly approved by voters in
But kisses were being traded in Salt
Lake City to protest the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints'
(the Mormons) June detainment of two men after the pair kissed on
church property. Others cited the July
police ejection of five men from a Mexican fast-food restaurant in El
Paso, Texas because two of the men shared a kiss.
“2009 may be remembered as the year
same-sex marriage took hold in the United States,” gay activist
David Badash said in a post announcing the event. “Sadly, it may
also be remembered as the year gay couples were repeatedly arrested –
“Enough is enough. It's time we call
these 'peace officers' out. It's time we showed them love can't be
stopped. It's time for a nationwide kiss-in,” Badash added.
San Diego protesters gathered in front
of the Manchester Grand Hyatt. The hotel is being boycotted by gay
rights groups because owner Doug Manchester donated $125,000 in
support of Proposition 8 while it was being gestated by anti-gay
groups. Manchester is often credited for creating momentum for the
measure when its future looked dim.
About 60 couples attended the kiss-in,
smooching between American flags and boycott signs.
Protesters in Salt Lake City were
puckering up for the third time this summer. Tempers
flared during a kiss-in last month when anti-gay protesters clashed
with pro-gay kissers.
But demonstrators on Saturday pulled
off their public displays of affection without disruption. Some
warmly kissed their children.
“The seeds have already been planted
for the biggest cultural shift GLBT people will have ever
experienced,” actor and activist Charles Lynn Frost told the crowd,
estimated at 150 people, the Salt Lake Tribune reported
As home of the Mormon Church, Salt Lake
City remains at the epicenter of the gay kiss movement. Mormons
donated millions of dollars and thousands of hours – at the behest
of church officials – towards passage of Proposition 8. In June,
Matt Aune, 28, and his partner Derek Jones, 25, were cuffed and
detained by church security guards for kissing on the Main Street
Plaza, private property owned by the church. Police cited the pair
for trespassing, but the city later dismissed the charges, saying the
church failed to properly notify the public.
Protesters locked lips in other cities
as well, including Atlanta, Washington D.C. and Toronto.