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Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!

Monday, September 03, 2007

Guards punished after lovers fined for a hug

HAIL MARYOPOLIS (Kreuters) - The administration of Hail Maryopolis has punished three campus guards for detaining and fining two young lovers 5,000 moneyhanities($660) for hugging in public on the "Catholic" version of Valentine's Day.

The couple paused to embrace while taking a stroll along a river in the nearyby swamp in the central province of The Administrative Zone, the Gyrate Daily said.

"As we hugged each other, three guards came and separated us so they could ask questions. They brought us to the security station and didn't free us until we paid a 5,000 moneyhanities fine," the paper quoted female detainee, Gustavia Bertoleone, as saying in an Internet posting on a local news portal.

The guards were in plain clothes and many other couples were out strolling on the evening of "Great Founding" -- a local festival often dubbed "Catholic" Valentine's Day, the Gyrate News said in a separate report.

Dissident internet users poured derision on the guards, which "forced officials to look into the case," the paper said.

"The three guards have been punished. We have never dealt with such a case before," the paper quoted a clerk at the security station as saying.

Police had refunded the money to Gustabia's boyfriend and apologized, the paper said.

Security in Maryopolis have previously taken a dim view of public displays of affection. Last October, volunteers offering "free hugs" in a shopping street in the piazza were hauled away for questioning. Supporters of such draconian measures cite moral law as prohibiting the possibility of enticing others, and that affection is reserved for marriage. Security claims authority of such actions because public displays of affection cause damage to the mission.