Men up and down the country are holding hands as a sign of solidarity towards a gay couple who were viciously attacked over the weekend.
On Sunday morning, couple Jasper Vernes-Sewratan and Ronnie Sewratan-Vernes were attacked by a group of six to eight men who saw them holding hands in the city of Arnhem.
Reports note that Ronnie has severe injuries to his back, chest and legs, whilst Jasper lost four teeth after being repeatedly struck by a pair of bolt cutters.
Vernes-Sewratan told NOS: “‘We don’t usually do that, holding hands in public, for the very reason that we don’t want to provoke people. But we’d had a nice evening, it was late and we thought we were alone.
“And then suddenly there was a group of six to eight Moroccan youths. Before I knew it I was on the ground fighting with three men on top of me.”
The homophobic attack has sparked outrage in The Netherlands, which in 2001 became the first country in the world to legalise equal marriage.
Since the attack, a hashtag, #allemannenhandinhand began spreading throughout The Netherlands, encouraging straight and gay men to show solidarity in public. Two leading politicians, Alexander Pechtold and Wouter Koolmees, of the liberal D66 party, arrived at talks on the formation of a new Dutch government holding hands, saying:
“We think it is quite normal in the Netherlands to express who you are.”
In addition to the hand-holding trend, a protest is set to take place in Arnhem this weekend calling for an end to homophobic attacks and discrimination.
Check out some of the men participating below:
— Lise Gregoire-van Haaren (@LiseGvH) April 3, 2017