Posted By Eric Ethington (Author) on July 19, 2009
Today marked the 3rd protest over the Mormon Church’s treatment of two gay men who were caught kissing on the church-owned main street plaza. But unlike the past two protests which were filled with song, smiles and overall good-feelings this protest turned ugly quickly with shouts of anger and arguments. What was the difference? “America Forever” showed up.
The infamously-radical and push-button style group showed up ahead of most of the protesters to stage a counter protest. Bearing 6 foot signs with the usual anti-gay messages, they attempted to stop any of the protesters from entering the plaza. But America Forever had it’s hands full against an angry crowd who wanted to make it clear that they were sick of being put down and having their rights trampled under the guise of righteousness.
Things stayed at a mostly normal pace until one America Forever man started screaming at the crowd that they were trying to destroy the country, and that homosexuals are the “most un-patriotic” group in existence.
Then came the kiss. Somehow without any of the dozens of cameras there (including my own) seeing him, a man on rollerblades skated by and kissed Sandra Rodriguez (leader of America Forever) on the cheek. News cameras immediately rushed over and interviewed Sandra, who’s story of what happened changed 5 times in the first 2 minutes. First she claimed he kissed her on the cheek, then he had grabbed her shoulder, then he had jumped on her and eventually the story became that he slapped her (I have that whole conversation on film). Ms. Rodriguez then went on to speak to myself for another 5 minutes. I asked her if she saw the irony in that she herself is an immigrant to this country and had to work for years to be given all the rights our country offers, and now she spends her days working to deny others of those same rights. She unfortunately wouldn’t answer the question, but after several minutes claimed to be injured by the man who had kissed her and staggered off. Eventually she had an ambulance called so she could be loaded in as a martyr in front of the crowd and driven off with lights flashing.
Now I did not see (nor did anyone in the crowd apparently) the actual event take place so I cannot say definitively that the man did not grab her shoulder. But with how the situation was handled and how she acted afterwards, I would be enormously surprised if it was any more than a peck on the cheek and she decided to twist it to her advantage.
on another interesting note, the Mormon Church’s gestapo were no-where to be seen today. In both of the previous protests the seemed to come out of the bushes everywhere to make sure no one entered the plaza. But today, there were only 2 and they disappeared as soon as America Forever showed up. Could it be the the Church’s PR agents have realized what bad press they’ve already got and told security to not be seen anywhere in relation to such a vile group as America Forever? Hmmm, could be.
Photos of the event can be seen here. And videos are on there way.