I thought this was a good deconstruction of the notion of a "kiss-in" protest. It comes from Ann Althouse, who is on the record as a supporter of same-sex marriage. The title of the post is "A kiss-in should be a love-in or it shouldn't be done at all."
Protests express opposition and therefore usually anger. Expressing love is inconsistent with anger. So if you're going to use a gesture of love for protest, you've got a special problem. Appropriating an expression of love for hostile purposes is a dangerous matter...
I'm looking at pictures from the Chick-fil-A kiss-in. These were people who wanted to demonstrate support for same-sex marriage. (I agree with them on that issue, by the way.) As their form of protest, they chose kissing — individuals of the same sex, kissing in restaurants that are associated with opposition to same-sex marriage. So the idea was, go where you think you are not loved — even though there's no evidence that Chick-fil-A treats gay customers with less respect and friendliness than straight customers — and do something you think will upset them.
Now, restaurants generally don't want anybody making out, so you've chosen behavior that would be disruptive to a restaurant's business whether the kissing couples are same or opposite sex. The form of expression is offensive and not like the old civil rights demonstrations where black people sat at lunch counters and were not served. They simply acted like customers — good customers — and the only reason it worked as a demonstration was that the store only served food to white people, the policy the protesters very successfully demonstrated was wrong. Kissing at Chick-fil-A does nothing to show what's wrong about anything Chick-fil-A is doing. It's just displaying hostility to the place.
And it's displaying hostility with kissing. So what have they done? They've perverted kissing, which should be an expression of love. Ironic, considering that the gay rights movement seeks to dispel the belief that homosexuality is perverted.
It's a challenge to protest with gestures of love. It can be done, but it can't be done with hate or love is not love.
This is a very important insight, and it is one that political and social activists of all kinds ought to take to heart. It can't be done with hate or love is not love.
In fact, we don't even have to be talking about outright "hate" for the principle to apply. John Paul II famously wrote that the opposite of loving a person isn't hating him, it's using him. So it can't be done to use someone, either, or love is not love. Even using him for something quite small and inconsequential destroys whatever traces of love there might be in the act of use.
I am reminded a little bit of how, in an argument between a Christian and some other person, occasionally you'll hear the Christian end the argument with something along the lines of "I'll pray for you." Quite possibly it's a sincere statement, but the context leaves it tainted. To pray for someone is an act of love, true; normally to express an intention to pray for someone is an expression of love; but you get the feeling that this particular expression is primarily an attempt to score a rhetorical point. If that's so, then this love is not love. It's a kind of use: using the deity, invoking God's name and the Christian's intimate relationship with Him, as a way of saying "You are soooo wrong that only God has any hope of rescuing you from your benightedness."
Now, you may say that there is nothing illicit about praying for someone who is misguided, and therefore there can be nothing wrong with announcing your intention to do so. Perhaps there is nothing inherently wrong with making such an announcement, but you'd better be quite certain your intentions are pure as the driven snow -- and consider what is the point of announcing that you're about to take part in a charitable act, instead of just quietly going away and doing it, with the door shut.
The lessons here apply to all kinds of protests, including the kind that you or I might make. If you're using love to make a point, tread carefully... because love is the opposite of use. So it is pretty hard to "use" it and allow it to remain real love.