The Kiss for Equality Campaign celebrates its one-year anniversary with the launching of a new website that features photographic testimonials from all over the USA and the world in support of marriage equality.
Launched on Valentine’s Day 2013, the Kiss for Equality Campaign began as a way to raise awareness about marriage equality in the United States. Following President Barack Obama’s historic inclusion of the LGBT community in his second inaugural address, New York State resident Sarah S. Kilborne got to thinking about what she could do to advance LGBT rights in the USA. An author, musician and commentator on LGBT issues, Kilborne felt a strong need to raise awareness about the cause for marriage equality. With the Supreme Court hearings on the horizon, Kilborne saw that the simple act of kissing another human being could celebrate the love at the heart of the hearings and be a powerful gesture of solidarity for gay rights.
“Throughout time and across borders,” says Kilborne, “a kiss has been a symbol of support, love, friendship, peace, respect and union. So we invited people to take part in this universal act, capture their kiss in a photograph, and do so with a consciousness that they were supporting equal rights for all.” Kilborne expected the campaign to peak at the time of the Supreme Court hearings but the photos kept coming in, and the Campaign, featured on the “Huffington Post”, “Buzzfeed” and “Queerty”, among others, has grown into a global campaign, showing just how important it is for people everywhere to be able to show their support for equality.
With friends and supporters who all volunteer their time, Kilborne has created a Facebook community that now has more than 38,000 members from more than 45 different countries and produced a music video for the campaign that was picked up and blogged about by well known bloggers such as David Mixner and Towleroad.
Kilborne and the “Kiss for Equality” team continue to be inspired by the photos that come in from all over, of people young and old, gay, straight, bisexual and transgender, sharing their “Kiss for Equality.” Viewed collectively, these photos create a visual tapestry in support of equal rights and become artwork for the cause of democracy. “Each photo is a profoundly moving and courageous act of human expression,” says Kilborne. “What’s more, when you see so many couples giving one another a kiss, it just becomes so visually apparent that love is a normal, natural and human right. The desire to marry whom you love is something that resonates around the world.”
Learn more or share your kiss at Kiss4Equality.org