Gays plan kissing protest for pope visit to Spain
Gay rights activists said Monday they are planning a homosexual kissing protest in front of Pope Benedict XVI when he visits Barcelona, Spain, this weekend.
Organisers plan for same-sex couples to gather and kiss in a so-called flashmob protest when the pope arrives to consecrate the city's Sagrada Familia church and celebrate mass on November 7.
"We are hoping for a crowd of people of the same sex who will kiss each other for two minutes in front of the pope," said one of the organisers, Marylene Carole.
"After two minutes, the flashmob will finish and each participant will leave as if nothing happened," she said.
The organizers, a group of half a dozen friends who say they are not affiliated to any association, are inviting people via Facebook, Twitter, and a blog -- http://queerkissingflashmob.wordpress.com/ -- to take part.
They complained that Facebook had taken down two "event pages" titled Queer Kissing Flashmob that were being used to advertise the protest, without giving a clear explanation.
"The reason is to show our unhappiness with an institution which for a long time has been against the sexual and emotional rights of many people who do not practice exclusively reproductive sex or people who do not love each other in the way that the institution thinks is right," Carole said in response to email questions.
Another of the organizers, Joan Perez, said about 300 people so far plan to attend. He said there had been a bigger response to the initial Facebook page but it had been removed.
The idea for the protest was completely spontaneous, Perez said in a telephone interview. The idea was to make a symbolic and completely peaceful protest, he said.
The pope will visit Santiago de Compostela, one of the Roman Catholic Church's holiest sites, on November 6. He then travels to Barcelona for the November 7 consecration of Sagrada Familia, the emblematic building of architect Antoni Gaudi that has been under construction since 1882.
© 2010 AFP