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Smooch Your Sweetie for Love Equality at the Great Nationwide KissIn

David Badash and David Mailloux of the Great Nationwide Kiss-In note three recent incidents in Texas and Utah in which same-sex couples were harassed or detained by security guards or police officers for simply smooching in public. The pair don’t just declaim; they declare their eagerness to make a counter-statement in favor of the freedom to love:

What is a Kiss-In?

Well, it’s quite simple. On the suggested date and time, in a public place – whether it’s a park or plaza or popular thoroughfare in your city or town – you’ll bring your husband or wife or partner or boyfriend or girlfriend or good friend, and at 2 p.m., you’ll kiss. It’s one of the simplest things in the world to do!

…We need to make a strong statement to everyone everywhere: kissing is not a bad thing, nor has it ever been. It’s not vulgar or inappropriate. It’s a sign of affection that is as old as time itself. And it’s a beautiful thing that we share with our loved ones every single day.

The more cities with corresponding events, and the more people who participate in those events, the stronger the statement.

Badash and Mailloux are as ecumenical in their approach to the demonstration as they are in their approach to affection: the Kiss-In is open to same-sex couples, straight couples, and to friends, too.

The Great Nationwide Kiss-In is happening August 15, 2009 at 2 pm. You could in principle stage yours anywhere, but publicly announced demonstrations more likely to gain media coverage will be especially effective. The following cities are planning Kiss-Ins: click links to connect to Facebook event pages:

Arizona
Phoenix on the lawn of the Arizona State Capitol Building

Arkansas
Fayetteville at the plaza between the square and Town Center

Little Rock at the State Capitol building

California
Irvine in front of Steelhead Brewery, 4175 Campus Drive

Los Angeles, 3rd Street Promenade at Arizona, near Farmers’ Market in Santa Monica

Riverside at Riverside Plaza, Central and Riverside Avenues

Sacramento on the west steps of the Capitol Building (no web link available)

San Diego at Manchester Grand Hyatt on 1 Market Place

San Francisco in Union Square on Powell Street

San Jose at City Hall on 200 East Santa Clara Street

Santa Barbara on Pardall Road in Isla Vista

Canada
Edmonton, Alberta at the big fountain in front of the legislative building

Colorado
Denver at the 16th Street Mall at Glenarm

Connecticut
New Haven on the Green

Georgia
Athens at the UGA Arch along Broad Street in the UGA North Campus Quad

Atlanta in Piedmont Park

Iowa
Iowa City on the pedestrian mall in front of Donnelly’s Pub

Illinois
Carbondale at the Town Square Pavilion

Champaign at Green & 6th Streets

Chicago at the Cloudgate Sculpture/”The Bean” in Millennium Park

Chicago/Oak Park at at Scoville Park, the NW corner of Oak Park Avenue and Lake Street

Normal in front of City Hall at 100 East Phoenix Avenue

Massachusetts
Boston at the Boston Common between Park Street and the State House

Greenfield at the Greenfield Town Square

Michigan
Grand Rapids at Rosa Parks Circle, Monroe Center and Monroe Avenue

Missouri
St. Louis in front of City Hall

New Mexico
Albuquerque at the Civic Center Plaza

New York
New York City in Battery Park

North Carolina
Charlotte at Freedom Park near 1900 East Boulevard

Northern Mariana Islands
Saipan at the Minachom Atdao Pavilion across from the Ada Gym, local time Sunday, August 16, 4 a.m.

Ohio
Cincinnati at Fountain Square, 5th and Vine

Columbus at Goodale Park on Buttles Avenue

Oklahoma
Tulsa at 621 East 4th Street

Oregon
Portland at Pioneer Courthouse Square, SW 6th and SW Yamhill

Pennsylvania
Erie on the steps of the Erie County Courthouse at 140 West Sixth Street

Philadelphia in Love Park at 16th Street and JFK Boulevard

Pittsburgh at 1000 Penn Avenue, on 10th between Liberty and Penn Avenue, in front of the Westin portico

Tennessee
Memphis at the intersection of Poplar and Highland

Texas
Dallas at Rosa Parks Plaza on the corner of Lamar and Elm

Houston at Discovery Green on 1500 McKinney Street

Utah
Salt Lake City in Washington Square

Virginia
Richmond the Virginia Commonwealth University Compass between Shafer Court Dining Center, Cabell Library and Hibbs Hall

Washington DC
The National Mall between 3rd and 4th Streets

West Virginia
Parkersburg at the Parkersburg City Park in front of the band shelter

Smooch.

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