Hundreds of London residents have joined with the LGBT community to take part in a same sex kissathon at a Sainsbury’s local supermarket to show support after a gay couple were escorted outside by a Sainsbury’s security guard because they were holding hands.
Thomas Rees, 32, and Joshua Bradwell, 25, were removed from the store earlier this week after a customer made a complaint to the store’s security claiming that the couple were “touching inappropriately.”
This blown-out-of-proportion incident made news headlines, caused widespread criticism, and resulted in Sainsbury’s apologising to the gay couple and offered them a £10 ($16.90 AUS) voucher.
The couple refused the lousy compensation from Sainsbury’s and instead published a written response on social media directed at the customer who complained.
To the bigot who complained about my bf & I holdin hands & the security guard at @sainsburys who felt the need to ‘talk’ to us outside??
— Thomas Rees (@doganddinosaur) 8 August 2016
The same sex kissathon and protest took place at the Sainsbury’s East London store on Saturday night local time where around 200 other same sex couples turned up at the supermarket to proudly show extended public displays of affection.
A flood of gay men and women came prepared with rainbow pride flags and sound systems which filled the aisles with party songs, followed by the countdown to the kissathon, as reported by Sky News.
The ‘Big Gay Kiss In’ at Sainsbury’s ? So many people turned up! ❤️ pic.twitter.com/maKzLjNWou
— Tom Knight (@TJ_Knight) 13 August 2016
Although shoppers looked puzzled towards the event, the original couple were amazed at the huge turn-out and thanked all of their supporters.
“The number that turned out was absolutely insane, we were not expecting this at all,” Bradwell told the Press Association.
“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,” his partner Rees added.
A spokeswoman for the East London store stated that management were “working hard to make sure lessons are learnt” calling the protest a “really great event.”
The protest was clearly a huge success for both Rees and Bradwell.
Watch a clip of the protest by clicking on the Twitter link below.
— FIERCE the movie (@FIERCEthemovie) 14 August 2016