Two high-ranking Dutch politicians were photographed holding hands earlier this week as they arrived at The Hague for negotiations on the formation of a new cabinet.
Alexander Pechtold, leader of liberal-democratic party D66, and party member Wouter Koolmees were taking part in show of solidarity following a brutal assault on a gay couple that took place in Arnhem over the weekend.
Jasper Vernes-Sewratan and Ronnie Sewratan-Verne had been holding hands when they were set on by a group of youths in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Mr 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 attack has prompted outrage across the Netherlands, and numerous men have taken up a suggestion by journalist Barbara Berend for men to hold hands to demonstrate solidarity with the victims of homophobic violence.