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'Big Kiss-In' shows support for equality

Today (15 October) the University of Sussex Students’ Union hosted a ‘Big Kiss-in’ at a Sainsbury's store in Brighton which was attended by hundreds of people keen to show their support. 

People kissing at the Kiss-In

The ‘Big Kiss In’ was open to everyone, regardless of their gender or sexuality, to highlight that whomever you wish to kiss, it is to be celebrated.

The event was hosted by Lydia L’Scabies, a local performance artist, and the crowd was addressed by local activists. 

We would like to thank everyone who attended the event, and hope that we can work together in continuing to say no to discrimination, whatever form it takes. 

Michael Segalov, Students’ Union Communications Officer said:

Tonight was an incredible success, and I’d like to thank everyone who came along and supported us, both in person and online.
It was important to all of us that we turned an unpleasant and negative situation into something positive, and tonight we did that. A clear message has been sent to Sainsbury’s, and our community. We will not accept homophobia, and will take action when needed.
I hope that Sainsbury's responds to the requests we have all made, and does the right thing, making it clear that as a company they will show commitment to the cause.

Over the weekend, a security guard at the store told a young woman that kissing her same gender partner was inappropriate. This followed a complaint from a shopper that it was ‘offensive’ and she ‘feared for her child’s safety’. The student was told they would be asked to leave the store if they continued.

Sainsbury’s has apologised to the woman involved, a student at Sussex, and offered to make a £100 donation to charity. However, we did not feel this was an adequate response. 

We have called on the company to:

  • Re-examine current practice, and make Equality & Diversity training mandatory for all staff to ensure a situation like this can never arise again
  • Make a substantial donation to a charity that works to end homophobia in our communities
  • Issue a public apology for the way that they have acted.

You can see a round-up of media coverage of the event and some of our favourite tweets at storify.com/USSU/the-big-consensual-kiss-in

Photo by Daniel Hadley and used with permission


Press Enquiries - Michael Segalov - Communications Officer - communications@sussexstudent.com

 

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