Tidbits from behind the Zion Curtain

So, today, the Salt Lake County attorney dropped all charges against the two gay men who were roughed up, and cited by Salt Lake City police for “trespassing.” What they really did, according to the LDS Church, was fondle each other, grope, be pretty damn lewd and, oh yes, they were DRUNK, too! There was this KISS, which according to the two men was on the cheek, but the Mormons made it sound like the two made a porn movie in Little Hinckleyville, or whatever it is they are calling the former MAIN STREET of SALT LAKE CITY these days.

From a story on the ABC 4 Web site, posted before the decision today:

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) – Matt Aune and Derek Jones claim they were assaulted by security guards outside the Salt Lake City Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “Their disgust with us was clear,” says Aune.

“We were actually side-by-side and Matt stepped in, gave me a hug and kissed me on the face,” says Jones. Both men say it happened Thursday night when they were walking downtown and cut through church property near Main Street. They say they were assaulted when LDS Church security told them to leave, but they refused and asked why.

“The next thing we know, I’m being forced onto the ground on my stomach, my face is on the pavement, they handcuffed me and they grab Matt and try to get him into handcuffs,” says Jones. “This is from handcuffs? Uh huh, yes,” says Aune. “And some marks here on this arm as well. But they weren’t the police so they had no business restraining us.”

A spokesperson for the LDS Church issued a statement to ABC 4. “Two individuals came on Church property and were politely asked to stop engaging in inappropriate behavior – just as any other couple would have been. They became argumentative and used profanity and refused to leave the property. They were arrested and then given a citation for criminal trespass by SLPD.”

Both men say they’re aware the Church owns the property that was once public. But since 2003, the Church has the authority to ask anyone to leave for any reason.

“We weren’t doing anything lewd, just anything any other couple would do, which I have seen on that easement before,” says Jones.

An ABC 4 camera captured other couples holding hands and even one sharing a brief kiss near the property that Aune and Jones say they’re now banned from for six months. “It was ridiculous, we were walking home. We weren’t hanging out, not loitering. We weren’t even admiring the sites, we were just going home,” says Jones.

Both were released from custody by Salt Lake City Police who were called to the scene. They were each cited with a Class C misdemeanor which is the lowest possible charge. A police spokesperson says it is punishable with a fine.

Yeah. Sure, it was just because they were KISSING. No one has EVER kissed there before, or say, TAKEN WEDDING PICTURES that featured HETEROSEXUAL KISSES? Yeah. Uh huh. Oddly enough, in the videotape taken by Church security, you can see the two men being strong-armed, cuffed, roughed up, but there is NO sign of the lewdness, groping, or even the KISS. Funny how that happens….


This story really tickled my funny-bone, although it could have been really dangerous. I suppose I could tell stories of things I would do to get out of church, because I damn sure did them, but most of them involved fake illnesses and painful cramps, and when I got older, oddly enough, my bosses ALWAYS made me work on Sundays! Darnit all to heck.

But this kid takes the cake. From the Standard Examiner.

PLAIN CITY — Maybe he also missed the day the sermon covered the Eighth Commandment: Thou shalt not steal.

A 7-year-old boy led officers on a car chase Sunday through Weber County in an attempt to avoid going to church, authorities say.

“Most kids fake illness,” said Weber County Sheriff’s Capt. Klint Anderson. “They don’t take the car out and go joy riding.”

Dispatchers received reports of a child driving a vehicle recklessly near 4100 West and 1975 North around 9 a.m.

The motorist who called in the complaint followed the child and witnessed the boy drive through a stop sign at 4700 West, Anderson said.

Two deputies caught up with the boy a few blocks away and attempted to stop the car, but the child kept driving, Anderson said.

The boy drove through a parking lot, then went south on 4700 West before driving the family’s white Dodge Intrepid into a driveway on the 5000 block of 1500 North. The driver reached 40 mph and ran stop signs along the way, Anderson said.

The boy reportedly entered the home through the garage and ran upstairs. When deputies questioned the child’s father, he told them he had no idea his son had taken the car.

“They had to explain to him they had chased his car,” Anderson said.

“The father confronted the kid, and the boy straight-up admitted he had driven it. When asked why he took the car, he said he didn’t want to go to church.”

The boy’s father was told to make sure his car keys are kept where they are not accessible to children, and the child was lectured about the dangers of taking a vehicle out on the road, but authorities cannot do much else.

Police would not identify the family, as there would be no citations issued.

Anderson said the boy is too young to prosecute and that the boy’s father won’t be cited because he was unaware his son had taken his car.

For a 7-year-old, his driving wasn’t too bad, Anderson said.

“He had a few near misses, but he didn’t hit anything or crash.”

Let’s hope this doesn’t become a trend for young rebellious Mormons. Or Sundays, which are currently the safest day to be on the road in Utah, are gonna get a WHOLE lot more dangerous…


About Natalie R. Collins

Natalie has more than 30 years writing, editing, proofreading and design experience. She has written 20 books (and counting), has worked for the Sundance Film Festival, and as an investigative journalist, editor, and proofreader. She embraces her gypsy-heart and is following her new free-thinking journey through life. Follow her as she starts over and learns a bunch of life's lessons--some the hard way.
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7 Responses to Tidbits from behind the Zion Curtain

  1. WendyP. says:

    I saw the video of the Main St. Plaza incident. The thugs in suits should be ashamed of themselves but I’m pretty sure they’re not.


  2. B.Merrell says:

    When I was about this kids age I decided to take my mother’s truck on a joy ride, lucky for me I didn’t get caught nor did I get above about 20 mph. I just drove around my West Jordan neighborhood, drove to the park and then went home. I was in first grade so I would have been about 7 yrs old.
    I listened to the interview on 97.1 and the father said that he was horrorfied to find out what his son had done, when he asked his son what he was thinking the son said that he was going to go to his swim teachers house until after church was over. I thought that it was a funny situation anyways.


  3. Rick says:

    The kissing incident is interesting to me. My (TBM, SL Temple worker) mother said “I’m sure they were being disgusting, or the security guards wouldn’t have arrested them.” Years ago, I would have agreed with her.

    Now, and after watching the video, it looks like sure ’nuff, they exaggerated to get them arrested. Just can’t trust those mormon stories anymore, I guess!

    Funny thing is, the smart thing would have been to ignore them. But no, they have to step in the negative PR again. When will the church learn?!



  4. I had heard this story on the national news, but didn’t know it was a Mormon boy. LOL Boy, I wish I had thought of it when I was younger.


  5. pool table says:

    I’m not sure what to say about the temple square incident, but the kid driving to avoid going to church–that’s pretty funny. Well, at least it’s funny since no one got hurt. I guess when there’s a will, there’s a way.


  6. Rob says:

    Those two gay guys were probably Mormons! I was recently in the SLC area on business and I decided to check out the gay personals on Craigslist to see if there were any interesting young guys in SLC who wanted to hang out since I don’t know anyone in town. I was really astounded to see how many guys looking for m2m sex online said they were LDS members in their ads, given how homophobic the Mormon church is. Most were looking for other closeted LDS members. There was even one Mormon who said he “likes to play around with other LDS guys in our garmies”. He had even posted a picture of himself (from the chest down) wearing his! Aren’t those things supposed to be sacred?!?!?!

    Seeing how many gay Mormons there were looking for other guys in SLC, made me remembered the time several summers ago who two young Mormon missionaires came to visit me. It was a hot day and I was out on my boat dock hosing down the boat in nothing but a pair of board shorts, and they came out there on the pier to talk to me. I have no interest in converting, but they seemed like really nice guys so I chatted with them for a while. Both were 20 yo old BYU students born and raised in SLC. While I was standing there chatting with them I could tell by the way that one of the elders was checking out my bod, that he would probably rather shag me than try to convert me! LOL


  7. Tania says:


    You forgot to mention how the Today show had the young boy and his parents on. You know the same way they do when someone does something heroic. Instead they decided to go on and on about this boy breaking the law. It made me disgusted to see his dad laughing about it. Nice example NBC.


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