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Mexican City Elevates Kissing From Crime To Raison d'être

February 14, 2009 at 3:26 PM | by | ()

Lovers are once again free to lock lips in the Mexican town of Guanajuato, now that local officials have shelved a proposal that would have made public displays of affection a crime. As the LA Times points out in an amusing Valentine's Day story, the intent of the law, which was proposed by a conservative faction of the city council, was never to stifle the innocent smooches of paramours, but rather to prevent offensive displays of groping and "Olympic fondling" in view of impressionable children. Still, the wording of the law was general enough to give the faction's adversaries a tremendous opportunity, tapping into the affectionate nature of a nation whose standard greeting involves a cheek kiss.

An outcry quickly rose up from across the country. Kiss-starved locals defiantly puckered up in front of Guanajuato's City Hall, while residents of Mexico City gathered for a massive Valentine's Day kiss-in in the main square. Sensing that they've lost the PR battle, officials rescinded the legislation and declared Guanajuato to be the "Capital of the Kiss."

This is what they should have done in the first place. After all, Guanajuato is home to one of Mexico's most enduring kissing legends. As the story goes, Ana and Carlos were young lovers who lived across a narrow alley from one another. Their balconies were just close enough for the couple to sneak an illicit kiss, but Ana's father forbade the relationship, threatening to kill her if she continued seeing Carlos. Ana followed her heart, and was stabbed to death by her father, sharing one last kiss with Carlos before slipping away. The alley has come to be known as the Alley of the Kiss, and couples visit every day to smooch in the spot where love conquered death itself.

With a story like that, city officials are better off aligning themselves with Ana and Carlos than Ana's murderous father. And what's the big deal, anyway? A little kissing never hurt anybody. The "Olympic fondling," however, sounds a little dangerous.

[Photo: windandweather.com]

Related Stories:
· Kissing Ban Gets Mexico Hot Under the Collar [LA Times]
· Valentine's Day Travel Coverage [Jaunted]

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