In my wanderings around the West, I encountered a flash point of Gay-Mormon relations.

In the center of Salt Lake City is Temple Square, which is adjacent to the Latter Day Saints Temple. It was a public square until ten years ago, when it was sold to the LDS who maintain and control it. As it borders and links major LDS buildings, the sale seems to have been reasonable, The Mormons maintain the square to perfection. It has one of the finest displays of downtown gardens I have ever seen. It is a romantic spot.

And not just for heterosexuals, some of whom have been known on occasion to have more than one wife. The LDS are extremely family oriented – marriages last for eternity. I suspect that is their main attraction to converts – their theology is goofy in the extreme, and not even liberal Protestants consider the LDS a Christian Church. The Boy Scouts are the official youth movement for the LDS, and LDS opposition to homosexual scoutmasters has stiffened the Boy Scouts of America policy against homosexual scoutmasters. Gays therefore tend to have a particular animus against the LDS. Two gays were apprehended by guards at Temple Square because they were showing signs of affection. The gays claim it was a chaste kiss on the cheek the guards claim it was groping. As there was alcohol involved, I suspect the guards were giving the more accurate description, especially since many LDS visitors from other countries come from cultures in which it is not unusual for men to exchange kisses.

I was at lunch at the rooftop restaurant adjoining Temple Square, and all around me LDS worthies were discussing the incident; they suspected it was a deliberate provocation and start of a campaign to embarrass the LDS. These worthies seem to have been right. The Tribune reports that the gays are  planning a Kiss-In at Temple Square. The carnival is just starting.

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