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Gay 'kiss-in' protest outside pub

A gay "kiss-in" planned at a pub accused of booting out two men for their public display of affection came out into the street.

Several hundred protesters gathered outside the locked doors of the John Snow in Soho, central London, in a noisy display of solidarity.

They joined Jonathan Williams, 26, a financial journalist, and James Bull, 23, a charity volunteer, who said they were ejected on Wednesday by a woman claiming to be the landlady and accusing them of being "obscene".

The crowd staged a mass kiss at 7pm, followed by the spontaneous locking of lips by same-sex and heterosexual couples as the evening wore on.

The demonstration, organised on Facebook, had been intended to take place inside the pub, but its doors were closed after news of the kiss-in broke.

Standing outside the John Snow pub where his and Mr Bull's first date was allegedly cut short, Mr Williams said the turnout was "magnificent and overwhelming".

He said: "It's fantastic so many people actually came. I think it will at least make people reconsider their prejudices and remember that everyone has feelings."

He vowed that he would never return to the John Snow in the future.

Asked whether he was planning to pursue a claim against the pub, he said: "I haven't considered legal action. I don't know what the plans are but I haven't closed the door yet. I haven't spoken to the police officially."

Thomas Paget, the licence holder of the pub, refused to comment on the row. Asked whether the pub had been the victim of a "misunderstanding", he said: "I don't have anything to say."

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