Salt Lake City - A mass-kissing protest near the Mormon church temple Sunday drew a shouting match between gay activists and a group of faithful Mormons.
For the second consecutive weekend, about 100 people gathered to stage a "kiss-in" to protest the treatment of two gay men cited for trespassing July 9 after they shared a kiss on the plaza owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Both gay and straight couples exchanged kisses during the protest.
Demonstrators were greeted at the south entrance by a group of faithful Mormons carrying large signs that denounced homosexuality, prompting a heated verbal exchange.
Police say no one was arrested or cited, despite a large group exchanging kisses by a reflecting pool at the plaza's center.
The church bought one block of Salt Lake City's Main Street to build a plaza in the 1990s alongside the Temple, where Mormon marriages and other religious rituals take place.
Matt Aune has said he and his partner, Derek Jones, exchanged a modest kiss at the plaza 11 days ago, but church officials contend their behavior was lewd.
"There was much more involved that a simple kiss of the cheek," church spokeswoman Kim Farah said in a statement issued Friday.
"They engaged in passionate kissing, groping, profane and lewd language, and had obviously been using alcohol," she said.
The men have said they were walking home from a nearby concert and cutting through the plaza on their way home.
A police report said they sat down for a kiss and were approached by a pair of church security guards, who asked them to leave because their behavior was "unwanted."
Both were handcuffed and Aune was pinned to the ground.