Hundreds hold 'kissathon' protest at Sainsbury's

Demonstrators kiss in the aisles at London store after gay couple were told to leave for holding hands

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Hundreds of people descended on a London branch of Sainsbury's this weekend for a mass "kissathon" after a gay couple were ejected from the store for holding hands.

A security guard forced the two men to leave the Hackney Road branch after a customer complained they had been "touching inappropriately".

More than 200 protesters carrying rainbow flags danced outside the supermarket on Saturday night before kissing in the aisles.

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The couple also received messages of support from around the world.

One of the men, Thomas Rees, said being asked to leave the store had "knocked him for six" and left him "analysing how I'm perceived".

The protest, however, left him feeling "amazing, elated, overjoyed and I can't stop smiling," he said. "It's undone everything."

Sainsbury's has apologised to the couple and is conducting an investigation. It "understood why people had wanted to come together to highlight this issue", it added.

The protest follows a similar "big kiss" demonstration at a Sainsbury's store in Brighton two years ago after a lesbian couple were asked to leave when one of them kissed her partner on the cheek.

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