Why Are Straight Dutch Men Suddenly Holding Hands in Public?
Earlier this month, the Arnhem police posted on Facebook about an attack that occurred on April 2, 2017. During the early hours of the morning, a group of youths brandishing bolt cutters attacked a 31 year old and 35 year old married gay couple. One victim lost teeth in the attack.
Jasper Vernes-Sewratan and Ronnie Sewratan-Vernes told police the confrontation started because they were holding hands.
Across the globe, from Amsterdam to New York, London to Havana, Dutch men held hands last week to show solidarity with the gay couple.
— Coen & Sander Show (@coenensander) April 3, 2017
— William Rutten (@WilliamRutten) April 3, 2017
— Wouter (@wtrvdbrnd) April 4, 2017
— Lise Gregoire (@LiseGvH) April 3, 2017
A post shared by N.E.C. Nijmegen (@necnijmegen) on
— Maarten van Vliet (@vanVlietjuh) April 3, 2017
The attack caused a major outcry in the Netherlands, a country that has long prided itself on tolerance. They were the first country to legalize gay marriage in 2001.
On the Wednesday following the attack, a peaceful march took place in Amsterdam as a show of national solidarity to the two victims.
— SPEER (@SpeerHQ) April 10, 2017
Speaking about the incident, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte described the attack as "absolutely terrible" and "awful." Five teenagers were apprehended and charged the following Thursday April 6 with serious bodily harm. The motivation behind the attack is still being investigated.
As gay parents, we have particular reasons to fear and condemn these types of attacks. So, on behalf of gay families everywhere, we'd like to thank the straight men of the Netherlands for this amazing show of support!