April 4, 2017 10:12 pm
Updated: April 4, 2017 10:30 pm

A gay couple was beaten for holding hands, so Dutch men responded like this

WATCH ABOVE: Two Dutch politicians held hands outside parliament in The Hague on Monday in a show of solidarity against homophobic violence.


Dutch couple Ronnie Sewratan-Vernes and Jasper Vernes-Sewratan don’t usually hold hands.

But the pair had enjoyed a pleasant evening in the city of Arnhem on Sunday, so they figured why not, they told Dutch-language broadcaster Omroep Gelderland.

The couple soon found themselves attacked by a group of six to eight teens.

One of the men lost teeth, the other had his lip split after an attacker set upon him with a bolt cutter, the broadcaster said.

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The incident triggered angry responses throughout The Netherlands, a country that became the world’s first to introduce same-sex marriage in 2001.

It also prompted a challenge from journalist Barbara Berend, who called on men (in Dutch) to hold hands in a show of solidarity.

Two politicians took her up on the challenge. And then many, many more men did, too.

Alexander Pechtold and Wouter Koolmees of the Dutch Democrats D66 party were seen doing just that as they walked into a meeting about forming the country’s next government on Monday.

Negotiators Alexander Pechtold (L), leader of the Democrats D66 party, and Wouter Koolmees, financial specialist of D66, hold hands as they arrive for a talk between relevant political parties, The People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA), Democrats 66 (D66) and the Green Left Party (GroenLinks), in The Hague, The Netherlands, on April 3, 2017. They participated in an act of solidarity for two gay men who were physical abused after holding hands in public in Arnhem, on April 1, 2017.


Pechtold, the party’s leader, tweeted a response to Berend in which he called for an end to violence against gay people.

Many others followed, posting messages of solidarity on social media under the hashtag #allemannenhandinhand, which means “all men hand in hand.”

They included the Dutch Embassy in London.

Deputy Prime Minister Lodewijk Asscher.

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A post shared by Lodewijk Asscher (@lodewijkasscher) on

Members of the Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United Nations.

And the N.E.C. Nijmegen football club, which plays in the Netherlands’ highest league.

Ronnie, one of the victims, tweeted his thanks to a number of companies that showed their support after the attack.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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