Public smooching arrest prompts Mexico ‘kiss-in’
LEON, Mexico — Couples of all ages locked lips outside a church in the conservative central Mexico city of Leon to protest the arrest of a man for kissing his female companion.
The “kiss-in” — held at noon on Sunday to coincide with mass — received applause from some parishioners at the Catholic church.
Manuel Berumen, a 38-year-old university lecturer, was detained for 12 hours for engaging in the public display of affection while strolling Thursday in a nearby square with his partner and their four-year-old son.
“I took Mayra and kissed her, nothing out of the ordinary. And then we heard a person screaming: ‘There are children here — children!’ as if we were naked or engaging in pornography on the street,” Berumen told reporters Monday after filing a complaint to the country’s human rights advocacy agency.
He and his partner were charged with offenses against morality by a local judge, who imposed the 12-hour detention, though Berumen said the five police officers responding to the scandalized woman’s call arrested only him.
The state of Guanajuato, whose capital is Leon, is considered one of Mexico’s most conservative. There have been similar incidents there arising from alleged “breaches of morality.”