By Tomáš Tengely-Evans
Downloading PDF. Please wait... Issue 2517

Kiss-in defies shop bosses’ homophobia in Hackney

This article is over 5 years, 5 months old
Issue 2517
At the kiss-in in Hackney
At the kiss-in in Hackney (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Around 200 LGBT+ people and supporters joined a mass “kiss-in” in a Sainsbury’s supermarket branch in Hackney, east London, last Saturday.

It was organised after a security guard told partners Thomas Rees and Joshua Bradwell that holding hands was “inappropriate” on Monday of last week.

A customer had made a complaint about their “inappropriate touching”.

Thomas spoke to Socialist Worker at the kiss-in. He said, “We were just shopping together on Monday night when a security guard stopped us. They told us about the complaint and then asked us to leave the store.

“That’s never happened to us before.”

Protesters rallied outside the Sainsbury’s branch, which apologetically provided biscuits, before kissing in the aisles.

The kiss-in was a show of solidarity against homophobia. As Thomas said, “It shows the unity of community and that we have strength in numbers.”

Sainsbury’s has said it is conducting an investigation into what happened, but this is not the first such incident.

A lesbian couple was asked to leave a Brighton Sainsbury’s branch two years ago because one kissed the other on the cheek.

LGBT+ people staged a similar kiss-in at the store.

Will Labour block Pride?

Thousands of people joined the annual Pride Cymru march in Cardiff, South Wales, last Saturday.

There was a lively bloc of trade unionists, including from Wales TUC and the PCS and GMB unions.

But Labour-run Cardiff City Council said there would be “challenges” next year as the Cooper’s Field area will be re-turfed after use as the Champions League final fan zone. Organisers said there is nowhere else suitable in Cardiff.

Activists need to organise to make sure Pride Cymru goes ahead next year.

Saturday also saw the first ever Pride march in Wigan, and a pro-refugee banner at the front of Margate Pride.


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