Thousands of people have gathered in front of a renowned Vienna cafe to demonstrate against the expulsion of a kissing lesbian couple.

Police estimated around 2,000 people participated in the protest Friday, forcing the closure of one downtown street. Some of the demonstrators exchanged long kisses.

The manager of Cafe Prueckel has apologized for telling the couple to leave last weekend. But the pair - Anastasia Lopez and Eva Prewein - say the demonstration is meant to draw attention to the general prevalence of discrimination against gays in Vienna.

Vienna hosts several events each year that attracts gays, bisexuals and cross-dressers from across Europe, and Austrian singer Conchita Wurst has become the figurehead for Europe's non-straight community.

Vienna's tourist agency has criticized the expulsions.