Tragedy has been met with a national show of solidarity in the Netherlands.
Following the brutal attack of a gay couple holding hands on Sunday, Dutch lawmakers and citizens—both gay and straight—have begun clasping hands in a show of support.
The couple, Jasper Vernes-Sewratan and Ronnie Sewratan-Vernes, were assaulted as they left a bar by a group of six to eight people, who shouted slurs and attacked them with a pair of bolt cutters. Ronnie lost four teeth and required stitches for his lips, and Jasper sustained injuries to his chest, back, and legs.
Six suspects have been arrested: two 14-year-olds, three 16-years-old, and a 20-year-old man.
Almost immediately, as word of the attack spread via social media, the country responded with outrage and empathy.
Two Dutch politicians in the D66 party arrived to a meeting holding hands on Monday. Alexander Pechtold, the head of the party, told reporters, “We think it is quite normal in the Netherlands to express who you are.”
— Lousewies v d Laan (@LousewiesvdLaan) April 3, 2017
The Netherlands became the first country in the world to legalize gay marriage in 2001.
Across social media, other men joined in under the hashtag #allemannenhandinhand.