Men all over the Netherlands are holding hands to protest anti-gay violence


A total of five teenage boys and one twenty-year-old man were taken into custody over the weekend in connection with the assault of two gay men in the Dutch city of Arnhem in the early hours of Sunday morning.

The victims were holding hands when they were attacked, leaving Ronnie Sewratan-Vernes with four missing teeth and a severed lip, and Jasper Vernes-Sewratan with injured ribs.

Vernes-Sewratan said they usually conceal their relationship, but had decided to hold hands as they walked home after a night out.

In response to the attack, parliament members Alexander Pechtold, leader of liberal-democratic party D66 and party member and financial specialist Wouter Koolmees decided to hold hands to show support for the gay couple.

They arrived together at The Hague for negotiations on the formation of a new Dutch government.

And it’s not just the parliament members.

Journalist Barbara Barend tweeted to all men - encouraging them to hold hands in public in order to show support.

Men in the Netherlands took up the rallying cry, and have been sharing images holding hands.

The hashtag #allemannenhandinhand, which means ‘all men hand-in-hand’ began trending on Twitter.

The attack was condemned by several politicians including the Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

Barend argues that schools should teach children that homosexuality is something normal, and encourages gay teachers to come out.

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