Caitlin Breedlove stresses several times that she didn't kiss her girlfriend as a "publicity stunt," but unless she's completely making up the incident, it couldn't have gotten any publicity without the security guard's actions (transcript at the link):
Please let the "old school peaceful demonstration" be a gay kiss-in. They so deserve it.
The fact that she does work for a local LGBT org is related to this story; too many people let this sort of thing slip by without a response. One has to wonder how many same-sex couples the security guard told to leave before someone raised a ruckus about this.
And we should also wonder how many people don't even hold hands in the first place to avoid any confrontation, which is probably the majority of same-sex couples in public. We've had federal hate crimes legislation for over a year now, and people still don't feel safe being visible in public, so we can see how much that bill changed things.
Moreover, who died and let this security guard dictate people's actions in what should be a public space? While I know that this is just spitting into the tide, the privatization of public spaces means that we're going to be told what we can and cannot do when we're out more often, even in places where we think we're free. As was made evident two years ago when a gay couple was arrested for kissing in Salt Lake City on what they thought was public property, most people don't even know how much land has been privatized.
Raising public awareness will do more to help than punitive legislation would, but sometimes it seems like we're never going to get past this. Here's a story about violence against LGBT visibility from just this week in Sweden:
On Thursday, the activists were entering a restaurant and were transphobically and racially harassed by a group of young men. On their way out the activists were physically attacked by this same group and pelted with eggs. The aggressors then also smeared egg on the face of an activist. The police did not respond adequately to the reported case of violence.
The following morning Transgender Europe and RFSL called for an appropriate investigation. However, when the activists were interviewed by the police, later in the afternoon, the police asked a series of unacceptable and offensive questions to the activists about their gender identity and right of stay in Sweden. In addition, the incorrect use of names and pronouns violated the dignity of the activists. Through their behaviour the police made the activists feel intensely violated and humiliated.
Sweden, not North Carolina. Humanity has a ways to go.