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Dutch politicians hold hands in support of gay couple who were attacked

Dutch politicians Alexander Pechtold and Wouter Koolmees walk hand-in-hand to parliament Credit: APTN

Two male politicians arrived for parliament hand-in-hand in support of a gay couple who were badly beaten for holding hands.

Alexander Pechtold and Wouter Koolmees said it was important to show that it's normal to be able to show who you are.

"We support this to show that violence against anyone is unacceptable in the Netherlands," said Pechtold, leader of Netherlands' Democrats 66 party.

More Dutch men took up the call of gay rights activist Barbara Barend to walk hand-in-hand and share their photos on social media, while hundreds also held hands in a march through Amsterdam to demonstrate solidarity with the married victims.

People held hands in Amsterdam in solidarity with a gay couple who were beaten up Credit: AP

The men said that the confrontation began because they were holding hands in public in Arnhem on Saturday night.

Five teenage suspects will be charged on Thursday with causing serious bodily harm, prosecutors said, adding that they are still looking into the motive for the attack.

People march in Amsterdam in solidarity Credit: AP

Marcher Marion van Hees, 68, said she campaigned for gay rights in the sixties, and said: "I thought we were finished with it, that we had achieved it. But that is not the case, and that is very sad.

"So I'm going back onto the barricades."

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Sjag Kozak, 42, an Israeli who married his husband in Amsterdam and has lived in the city for 21 years, was also marching.

He said he wanted to show solidarity with the couple, but also "to show the world that it is possible to walk hand-in-hand in Amsterdam."

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