Hundreds have taken part in a ‘kiss-in’ protest at Sainsbury’s Local in Hackney, in a show of support for a gay couple who were allegedly asked to leave a store for holding hands.
Thomas Rees, 32, and boyfriend Joshua Bradwell, 25, say they got kicked out by a security guard, after a customer complained about them ‘touching appropriately’.
Roughly 200 people descended on the Sainsbury’s in Hackney Road yesterday evening, dancing outside the shop and filling the aisles in support of the couple.
Shoppers looked pretty damn confused as a load of gay men and women started flooding the store before a countdown to the mass kiss-in.
I'm at the kiss-in at Sainsbury's in Hoxton pic.twitter.com/u3kPg7zrBD
— Ryan Hooper (@RyanJHooper) August 13, 2016
Speaking to the Press Association, Joshua said: “The number that turned out was absolutely insane, we were not expecting this at all.”
We were right to be holding hands because when someone questions your behaviour in such a direct manner you can’t help but analyse how you are perceived by society. When your community come behind and say ‘you were right and you are right’, all that does is amplify your feelings. We were right to complain and do what we’ve done and fight those people who said we were wrong.’
The couple, who had never attended a protest before, said they felt inspired to become involved in LGBT activism.
Both of us have received messages from people around the world who don’t even have the courage to hold hands, let alone stand up against something like this. You have to do so.
We wish Thomas and Joshua all the best for the future.