A couple weekends ago, a couple was asked to leave Temple Square because of the provocative way they were kissing and groping each other. They were asked to leave by Church security and subsequently sited for arguing with security and not leaving when asked. Though both individuals admit to having been drinking and both were being boisterous and disruptive to those around them, they were shocked and of course, deeply offended that they were asked to stop their conduct. It would stand to reason, anyone participating in such conduct would be asked by any sort of security personnel in any public area to desist their actions or leave the area. This couple took it a step further and proceeded to cause such a disturbance on privately owned property – Temple Square. However, though this seems reasonable enough that Church security asked this couple to essentially "stop or leave" because of such behavior and most especially because it was taking place in an area owned by an organization that has the authority to make such a request, the ensuing battle that ensued the following Sunday was, in my opinion, illogical, ridiculous, and hypocritical. The community that supports the lifestyle this couple chooses to participate in came out in droves to protest this seeming "injustice." Of course, the crowd could not stay in the area designated for such protests, but insisted on once again coming onto property owned by the Church and acting in such a way that security, once again, asked them to remain in the public areas where they could peaceably continue expressing their opinion. Naturally, they shook their fists at the heavens and cried "Ignorance! Intolerance! Persecution!", and instead of conducting themselves in a lawful manner, proceeded to essentially continue trespassing on the Church owned property until authorities had to be called to escort them away. I guess they didn't get the idea that all bad behavior, regardless of lifestyle, is STILL not prohibited on Temple Square. But hey, guess what, they're rallying AGAIN today. Maybe 3rd times the charm, eh?
Clearly, the couple asked to stop such behavior on Temple Square that sparked such a protest was a gay couple and the surrounding gay community was waiting in the wings to decry such an outrage. I mean of course, anytime a gay couple is asked to stop doing something that would be asked of anyone participating in such inappropriate acts (heterosexual couples included), they once again shake their fists to the heavens and cry "Ignorance! Persecution! We want to be treated the same (oh but only sometimes… not today though)." And of course, if it's a religious organization asking such a couple to RESPECT their belief system just as those who choose to participate in the gay-lifestyle particularly demands that their lifestyle be respected as well, well break out the torches and pitch forks! I guess they are above such nonsense as "acceptance" or "agreeing to disagree" or "standing up for what you think is right" if what is being stood up for happens to go against THEIR opinions. Next thing you know they will rally in front of Buddhist temples in Cambodia demanding that they be able to keep their shoes on when they go inside! I mean, the monks probably only want "them" to take their shoes off cause they're gay. If a heterosexual person didn't want to take their shoes off they'd let them right in anyway! It seems the patterned response to any perceived "infringement" on the gay-lifestyle is trespassing, disorderly conduct, and blatant mockery of another organizations principles, "How dare you, Church Organization! How dare you use the same right I have to vote to express YOUR opinion." What did Tom Hanks call it, oh yes, it's "un-American." It's un-American to vote for what you feel is right, for what you see as a potential moral decline of society. It's un-American to peaceably campaign for your cause. Oh, I keep forgetting, it's only un-American because the Mormon Church did it. That's a hard one for me to grasp. Right if you do it, wrong if they do it. Somehow, that doesn't scream "democratic system" to me. But then again, I'm one of them Mormons.
The point is this, if people want to stand on public sidewalks surrounding Temple Square and protest the Churches support of Proposition 8; if they want to make signs that express their desire for gay-couples rights to marriage and hold them high in front of Church headquarters; then I think they should be able to. On public property it is an American right to express your opinion and enjoy the right of free speech. If you think something is amiss, if you find a social wrong in others opinions and want your voice to be heard, then you should utilize your right to do it. But don't you know that the person you are protesting against has that right too? Don't you know that on privately owned property, the entity that owns that property can manage it any way they'd like and if YOU are doing something that is deemed unacceptable and against standards set by that entity on THEIR property, you'll be asked to leave? No? Well in that case, perhaps I'll gather up my Singles Ward and hold a Family Home Evening activity on the lawn of a gay-couples home and boisterously discuss the Family Proclamation and how marriage should only be between a man and a woman. Perhaps we can hum a few bars of Come Come Ye Saints into your open windows and yell at your friends when they come to spend a pleasant evening at your home. Oh, and when you ask us with utmost courtesy to leave? We're going to shake our fists at the heavens, trample your rose bushes, and exclaim, "Ignorance! Persecution! Intolerance!" and come back next week as a Stake.