Why this photo is going viral around the world

Charlotte Hodges (left) and her partner Ruth Toomey share a peck outside a Russell St store. Photo Contributed
Charlotte Hodges (left) and her partner Ruth Toomey share a peck outside a Russell St store. Contributed

AN iconic photograph of two lesbians kissing in front of a Russell St store has gone viral online.

It has been shared hundreds of times.

The women hope it will propel a movement to change laws which stop them from marrying.

Brisbane women Charlotte Hodges and Ruth Toomey were visiting Toowoomba when they saw a sign supporting traditional marriage between a man and a woman.

Ms Hodges said the motivation behind the photo was to make a statement about marriage equality and highlight what she said was the irony behind marriage being called "God's decision".

"Every person who lives in Australia should have the right to marry the person they love if they so choose to," she said.

Ms Hodges said while not every member of the gay community wanted to get married, they should all be entitled to make that choice.

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She said many politicians hid behind the content of Biblical references in the Marriage Act but were not religious in any other facets of their lives.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has promised to hold a plebiscite on changing the Marriage Act which Ms Hodges said would be an incredible waste of taxpayers' money.

"Those funds could be far better utilised or redirected to community programs to benefit marginalised people, or reinvigorate the arts, health education and promotion."

Ms Hodges doesn't plan to get married.

"I am in a committed, long-term relationship.''

Ms Hodges was inspired to have the photo taken by her friend Lara Ryan who started the #ThisIsWhy marriage equality campaign.