Remember, in high school, learning Sir Isaac Newton’s Third Law of Physics? “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.”
While physics may not be many people’s strong suit, Newton’s law came into play after two men were arrested for kissing in Salt Lake City’s Main Street Plaza, which is owned by a Mormon church.
That’s right: Arrested for kissing. In 2009. In the United States.
Not surprisingly, when word got out nationally, the LGBT community was enraged, and they took action. Within the week of the announcement of the arrest, two large kiss-ins were held at Main Street Plaza, and another was held at a Mormon temple in San Diego.
Now, the whole country is getting involved with a nationwide kiss-in at 2 p.m. Aug. 15. If only Newton could see his work in action now.
Organizers include Join the Impact, which put on the 50-state anti-Proposition 8 marches in November, plus SitIn4Equality.net. Events are organized in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Portland, New York City, Salt Lake City, Washington, D.C., Little Rock, Denver and more.
Notice a city missing from that list?
There is nothing planned in Detroit.
There have been talks on Yahoo groups about a Kiss n Tell Rally at Gone Wired Cafe in Lansing from 4-7 p.m. Aug. 13, but it’s not really the same thing. The rally – though a commendable effort – is on a different day and time than the nationwide kiss-in. It’s not actually a kiss-in at all, but a chance to sit and discuss LGBT issues. Most importantly, unlike all the other kiss-ins, it takes place indoors.
Where is our kiss-in, Michigan? If one is planned, Between The Lines certainly hasn’t heard about it.
The nation’s LGBT community is taking collective action over a local injustice because we are sick and tired of the fact that two men (or women) can still be arrested for showing public displays of affection – and Michigan is left in the dust.
Where are our grassroots activists and LGBT organizations on this effort? If almost 50 other cities in America can organize a kiss-in in protest of the arrest, why can’t we?
Michigan’s LGBT community is good at grassroots activism when it tries to be. We had a great Proposition 8 protest and our efforts to pass non-discrimination ordinances in local cities are paying off. But this kiss-in is an opportunity for activism that we really shouldn’t miss.
It doesn’t take much to organize (Facebook, e-mails, phone calls) and besides, it’s fun. Who doesn’t want to stand around with their sweetie and spend the afternoon kissing? And what’s more, our PDAs could really be part of a collective impact on the community.
A small, unpublicized, indoor event (with no smooches) doesn’t cut it. We need the media coverage of all the couples in love. We need to show our neighbors that it’s not gross or perverted. We need Michigan’s LGBT community out in the streets of Detroit or Lansing or Ann Arbor, locking lips.