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Comments about ‘No charges in Main Street Plaza trespassing case’

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Published: Friday, July 31 2009 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Henry Drummond

It looks like the prosecutor in this case is the only one with any sense. You can't have a plaza that is "open to the public" and that in fact invites and welcomes people to come and go as they please and then start ejecting people for arbitrary reasons. It will be interesting to see how the Church responds. I bet at some point you start seeing a very long list of what you can't do on the plaza.

Outrageous!

This is the most preposterous reason imaginable to refuse to prosecute!

Evidentiary issues? What evidentiary issues?

The smoochers were told they were on private property by men who identified themselves as Church security personnel, and asked to leave.

What the smoochers THOUGHT they had a right to do is a matter of complete indifference to the law.

They were trespassing. They were asked to leave by duly commissioned representatives of the property owner. They didn't leave. Prosecution rests.

This is purely and simply a poltically motivated snub of the Church and its beliefs by the prosecutor's office. An indication it intends not to protect the Church's property or interests, as the law requires. There is no other property owner in the city that would be treated this shabbily by public officials.

If these smoochers thought they had a right to grope one another in your front yard, does that make it OK?

This is an outrage!

interesting

It is imporatant to note that the original plan was to maintain a public easement across the Main Street Plaza (which would allow public access but would also have rules similar to parks - which includes the prohibition of alcohol). However a lawsuit forced the elimination of the easement and made the property entirely private.

What is most interesting is that the man who headed up pushing the lawsuit - is an openly gay ex-Mormon. So it is a gay man's zeal that ultimately led to the right of the LDS Church to remove the two gay men from their property. Ironic.

ummm

re: Henry Drummond
You have it wrong Henry: looking like a public access does not make it one (any mall, private campus, etc can control their own property regardless of how public it looks).
Originally it was planned that the plaza would have a public access easement: blame the ACLU for making sure it is NOT public now.

Release The Video

The LDS Church claims that the gay couple was drunken and lewd. The couple says that it was confronted after one gave the other a simple peck on the cheek. Which account is correct? The video evidence should show it. If you assume that Sim Gill competently reviewed this case, he should have obtained surveillance video of the incident from the Church. The Church invoked the power of the state to remove the couple from its property and has alleged criminal trespass. The public is now entitled to know whether the incident resulted from a crime or from private discrimination. The video should be made public.

Common Sense

Hooray for the Prosecutors showing some common sense. The criminal part of the legal system needs no part of this boondoggle. They have enough work with real criminals. The proper venue, if any, is civil action.

Sally

let the blood bath begin...

I'm sure we will see lots of posts that bring out the worst in people on both sides of this argument.

Why can't we just get over it and get along???

That being said... I as a gay person think that if it is private property, the church should be allowed to dismiss anyone they chose.

Do I think it is fair? No. Do I think that it sheds good light and publicity on the church? No.

The problem is that it is a public walkway that just happens to be owned by the church. This is why it needs to be made more clear by the church that they are intolerant of the gay community. Perhaps posting some signes with a little rainbow and an X over it so that we are all clear that the church does not want this kind of behavior on their property.

It is sad, but it is what it is. And justice has been served correctly here.

lost in DC

looks like pebble andersen is still calling the shots in SLC

Steve

Unfortunately and apparently, the Church will need to fence off their beautiful and "open" plaza, and post signs indicating that it's private property.

(There is no law regarding "private discrimination" on private property. Property holders can prohibit whatever activity they want to. I'm guessing in most jurisdictions, adults would prefer NOT to see public displays of affection, whether they be gay or straight.)

The world is welcome here...

Smart move by both the city and the church. Bad PR no matter what people say is bad PR.

Just gate all entrances to temple square, the plaza and the mall between the COB and executive building. Keep the sister missionaries posted at all gates to keep out undesirables.

It is there property and that is the way it is.

Naruto

I have no doubt the prosecutor had full access to the surveillance footage. I am sure that is why charges are being dropped, because they knew they didn't have a case. It begs the question, was security lying about the two people being belligerent and drunk?

Dutch

Wall it off and be done with it. Cancel all of the cheap leases for church property then raise the rates. welfare operations to allow memeber only - The church should discontinue all positive contributions to the Salt Lake City area.

or put a sign on each end of the plaza reminding visitors that is it is private property and actions to be regulated by LDS Church Standards.

Get over it.

Silly. Silly. Silly. If not prosecuted, perhaps the church security guard acted hastily? I don't know. I wasn't there. So much hate posted and we all live in the same place. Can't we just get along and respect each other? Apparently not.

Reggie

Typical LGBT response. "But I didn't know any better." "There should have been signs." "You don't have special rights, we do!"

ummm

Except that the two men acknowledged they had been drinking and confessed they were verbally abusive to security (how would that go over if it were on the front lawn of the Unitarian Church?)

This is primarily a political stunt by passive/aggressive former Council Person and Anderson appointee Deed Seed to get more air space.

She wants video time for her cause - facts and truth are really quite irrelvant.

Gay fundamentailists, such as Seed, do not speak for all homosexuals any more than Al Sharpton speaks for all racial minorities.

Anonymous

What a bunch of hypocrites! The LDS Church and its fanatic members make such a BIG DEAL out of this, and then don't even follow through with charges!

ummm

re:anonymous
The gay commnity (with Channel 4 in the lead and Deeda Seed as "fanatic" cheerleader) made this a big deal NOT THE LDS CHURCH (whom I am sure wish it would just go away)

The City prosecutor - NOT THE LDS CHURCH - didnt follow though with the charges

Your hypocrisy is showing

BTW - I am not LDS - but I tire of the Mormon bashing by the "tolerant' class

wood1271

I have been a cop for over 20 years, 10 of spent as a criminal investigator and this is the weakest excuse not to prosecute I have ever seen.

If you look at the statute it clearly states that once a person is asked to leave by the property owner or their representatives regardless of the reason and that person refuses to leave they are trespassing. It does not matter whether or not you agree with the conduct or not, a private property owner has the right to ask people to leave. Every private property owner should be concerned about this ruling.

Ignorance of the law has never been a reason to justify a person breaking the law whether they agree with it or not. There are signs at both ends of the plaza that clearly identify it as private property. But assuming they missed the signs, persons representing the poperty owners advised them they were no longer welcome. They were asked to leave and they refused, case closed.

Regardless of your personal views, this was simply Sim Gill looking for an easy way out of a touchy subject and pushing it back on the LDS church. Nice.

this is insane

This issue is one a prosocuter that is not going to prosacute a gay perspon for any reason, and two if the violation is against a mormon it may not be prosucated.

Mr. Gill is a very good attorney and has done a very good job for the city. However in this case he is doing what seems to be politically correct and making sure he deflects any flack from the gay community.

It is too bad that a valid criminal case can be rejected simply because of political views. This simple issue could cost Mr. Gill his job.

DanO

Reggie? LGBT response? Excuse me? It's the City Prosecutor saying that the proper signs weren't posted. When the couple was being told to leave, they did the right thing and asked the police be called, they were then handcuffed by the security and detained. The City Prosecutor's statement it pretty clear, if you're going to invite people onto your property, you should at the very least post a sign that says that it is indeed private property and that the owner reserves the right to allow who they do and don't want on it. The Church continued to lie about their role in this, the couple's statements were consistent with police report. The Church's was not.

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