UT Gay Man Detained and Arrested for Kissing Partner on LDS Property Speaks Out
In his first broadcast interview since the incident, one of the two men ejected from a Mormon-Owned plaza in Salt Lake City for kissing his partner – and arrested by police for trespassing – says he will not press charges.
Matt Aune told OutQ’s Michelangelo Signorile Friday that it was he and his partner who had demanded that church security call police – because he says the security guards acted illegally.
Aune: “After they had handcuffed us, they said ‘you can either leave or we’ll call the cops and get you for trespassing.’ And I said ‘you call the cops, because you’re not allowed to detain us like this and illegally search us.’ After we were in handcuffs, they started going through our pockets, which you’re not allowed to do unless there’s a police officer there. So I said ‘you call the police right now.'”
Newly-released surveilance video doesn’t show the entire confrontation, because as Mormon security guards were trying to handcuff the couple, the entire scuffle moved behind a tree. Aune says when police arrived, they did not get his side of the story, and did arrest he and his partner for trespassing – charges that have now been dropped.
Aune says despite the way the incident was handled by LDS Security AND the police, he and his partner have no plans to pursue legal action.
Aune: “We don’t need any reparations from the Mormon Church. The only concern was that we were not going to admit any sort of wrongdoing, because we don’t believe we were doing anything wrong.”
The incident has inspired activists to organize the “Great National Kiss-In” – slated for cities across the country on August 15th.