Ken backs gay pub kiss-in

Ken backs the kiss-in
Ken backs the kiss-in

By Ian Dunt

Ken Livingstone has backed gay activists planning to stage a mass kiss-in at a West End pub.

Jonathan Williams and James Bull were ejected after a confrontation with the landlord of the John Snow in Soho earlier this week after kissing on their first date.

The move prompted anger and indignation among London's gay community, which dominate the nearby area.

Following an extensive social media campaign yesterday afternoon, hundreds of activists are now planning on rushing the pub and kissing in it as an act of protest.

"Lesbian and gay Londoners staging a kiss-in protest in Soho tonight deserve our support," Mr Livingstone tweeted.

Gay rights activist Peter Tatchell said he would support any legal action the men wanted to take.

"Jonathan Williams and James Bull were not behaving indecently or committing any kind of sex act. There was no groping. It was just a kiss on the lips, like straight couples do every day," he said.

"If the landlord cannot prove that heterosexual couples are also ejected for kissing, the pub is guilty of unlawful discrimination."

Organiser Paul Shetler told the Guardian: "I heard about the couple being kicked out the other night, at 1 o'clock in the morning, from a friend of mine on Twitter.

"The friend and I were discussing what would be the most appropriate response, and it seemed rather than us just sort of accepting that we should just go there instead and have a massive kiss-in."

Reports this afternoon suggested pub management had closed the pub in advance of the protest.


Politics @ Lunch

Friday lunchtime. Your Inbox. It's a date.