A crowd of around 200 people carrying rainbow flags congregated at an east London branch of Sainsbury to stage a kissathon. The protest was in support of Thomas Rees and Joshua Bradwell, who were holding hands in the Hackney Road branch when they were escorted from the store by a security guard who said a woman had complained about their behaviour. Rees said he had been holding his boyfriend's hand and may have put an arm around his waist as they shopped for food on 8 August.
Protestors danced outside the store on Saturday evening (13 August), to Kiss Kiss by Holy Valance from a portable speaker. They then staged a kissathon in the aisles of the supermarket. During the demonstration, there were shouts of "get off my street".
"When your community come behind and say 'you were right and you are right', all that does is amplify your feelings," he said. "We were right to complain and do what we've done and fight those people who said we were wrong."
A spokesperson for Sainsbury's said: "It's been a really great event and an important opportunity for the community to show their support.
"We do our best to make sure everyone feels welcome in our stores but occasionally we make mistakes. We are working hard to make sure lessons are learnt."
The supermarket gave out biscuits and water during the event and said it was conducting an investigation into the incident. They also gave the couple a £10 voucher.
Michael Segalov, organiser of the protest wrote on Facebook, said: "In a year that's seen attacks all too often on the LGBT community, it's high time that Sainsbury's – with profits over £500m this year – put their money where their mouths are and use their resources to ensure that homophobia becomes a thing of the past. A £10 voucher just doesn't cut it."