Monday, July 13, 2009


A "kiss-in" drew about 60 people sporting pink paper hearts to the sidewalk just off of LDS Church property near Temple Square [in Utah] on Sunday to protest actions taken by the church's security personnel late last week.

Dozens of gay and straight couples smooched, posed for photos and talked with reporters while church security issued a few reminders to stay on the sidewalks.

But, as the gathering was beginning to disperse, about 35 protesters crossed onto church property and walked around the reflecting pond, eliciting a call to police by church representatives.

[For the full article, see here.]

Two men who kissed at one of five Chico's Tacos restaurants in El Paso, Tex., were kicked out by guards—and local law enforcement supported the ejection, citing non-existent laws regarding homosexual conduct in public.

The men and three friends were asked to leave after the kiss when security personnel told them they didn't allow "all that faggot stuff" in the establishment....

[For the full article, see here.]

It's hard to understand why two people kissing is considered onerous to others! The "ick factor" regarding same-sex love that is held by so many people is largely due to the insistent and continuous ranting of assorted religious self-appointed arbiters of "morality," so that many people blindly attribute "immorality" to the expression of same-sex love, even if it's only a simple kiss and/or hand-holding.

The "ick factor" will only dissipate when full and equal civil rights are won, and when same-sex love is normalized within society.

Attitude follows behavior: that is, we don't change our behavior because our attitudes change but, rather, we change our attitudes when our behavior changes or is forced to be changed!

Pride Parades would be ideal venues for insisting on equal rights that are enjoyed by all heterosexual citizens; become venues for education of people as to the lies and distortions that are borne of hateful ignorance by so many "Christian" clergy and their followers.

There must be a switch of the focus of Pride Parades from "celebrating" to "demanding!"

In the 1960's and 1970's, celebrating one's affirmation of self and the creation of an e sprit de corp among people in the Gay communities was desirable and appropriate. However, it seems to me that the need for such celebration has now come to an end, and Pride Parades must be used to "educate" and "demand!"

The National Equality March to be held on October 11, 2009, will hopefully help begin, if not further, a pattern of helping to set the stage for both educating the public about the lies and distortions promulgated by religious and other homophobes regarding LGBT people, and also for demanding full and equal civil rights.

This phenomenon of attitude change following behavior change, borne of "education" and "demanding" full and equal civil rights, was seen in the African American civil rights movement, and will also be seen once the LGBT civil rights movement gains more traction and finally prevails!
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While I understand the principle behind "kiss-ins", I doubt that they do much to advance the struggle for equality. We need a more potent protest tactic than this.

Jerry Maneker said...

Hi Don Charles: Although I agree that "kiss-ins" in and of themselves don't do much to advance the struggle for equality, I think they highlight the "ick factor" that quickly brings homophobia to the fore. They show that much more education and demands for full equal rights must take precedence in LGBT rights activism; that a change in the second-class status of LGBT people will change people's attitudes to the degree that expressions of same-sex love will not be viewed any differently than expressions of heterosexual love. Best wishes, Jerry.


I don't believe in the "ick factor", Jerry. Reactions to same-gender kisses vary quite a bit . . . many people pretend to be offended when they are actually aroused! My concern is that "kiss-ins" trivialize Gay identity and fail to identify the source of oppression. At any church protest, the true teachings of the Gospel should be emphasized. Sucking face on church property doesn't come anywhere close to doing that.

Jerry Maneker said...

Thanks Don Charles. "At any church protest, the true teachings of the Gospel should be emphasized. Sucking face on church property doesn't come anywhere close to doing that." With this, I absolutely agree! "Kiss-ins" do trivialize Gay identity and don't identify the source of oppression, but I am not a fan of kiss-ins, as I was referring to what provoked those kiss-ins and I still feel that "the ick factor" and ignorance of the Gospel are major reasons why two man or two women publicly kissing or holding hands is seen as "flaunting it," whereas when heterosexual couples do the very same thing it is seen as acceptable, if not laudable. Best wishes, Jerry.