Around 100 people of all sexualities and gender identities took part in a same-sex public kiss-in protest on Valentine’s Day in central London.
On Saturday, male and female couples gathered around the famous statue of Eros in Piccadilly Circus to lock lips.
Their smooches were then broadcast on electronic billboards around the busy tourist spot.
Staged by Pride in London, the #FreedomTo Kiss! protest aimed to highlight reports about discrimination against same-sex couples who display affection in public.
In a recent survey of 1000 LGBT people in the UK, over half (54%) said that they would not be comfortable at all in kissing their partner in public. Most cited a fear of name-calling or physical violence.
While the other 46% would be comfortable kissing their partner in public, two thirds of this group said they’d been on the receiving end of homophobic, biphobic or transphobic responses when they’d done so in the past.
“We all now enjoy more legal equality than ever before, but we are seeing an increasing number of same-sex couples be subjected to homophobic behaviour and discrimination for expressing affection to their partners in public,” said Bronac Mc Neill, who took part in the kiss-in protest.
“Now, more than ever before, we need more LGBT+ heroes, including our straight allies, to stand beside us and show why the right to kiss our partners in public – whatever their gender – is a freedom we should all enjoy,” Mc Neill added.
The protest signalled the launch of the ‘Heroes’ theme for Pride in London’s 2015 parade, which takes place in central London on June 27th.