A video showing a gay couple in Amsterdam who were spat at and called “cancer homos” by a group of teens on Sunday has gone viral, and the pair are now sharing their story to bring awareness to the incident. The attack took place on Molukkenstraat as the two, Daniel Schepers and Fabio Viana, were walking to a supermarket in the city on Sunday.
“I hope it helps to share this story,” Fabio told local television AT5. “This makes me so angry. That this is happening here in 2020 without us provoking anything.”
The video which was posted to Facebook, begins shortly after the couple were approached on Sunday by a group of teens who immediately began to harass the two men. The teens started with insults but quickly escalated to include aggressive and menacing behavior. Bystanders attempted to intervene, and the group left before police arrived. However, two members of the group did return after the police had left to spit on Daniel and Fabio.
Spitting is considered one means by which the sometimes-fatal, ongoing viral outbreak can be transmitted. The Netherlands has responded to the global pandemic with restrictions that limit group gatherings, calls for social distancing of 1.5 meters, and suggesting residents stay at home as much as possible until the situation is reassessed later this month.
Despite this most recent incident, statistics compiled by the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights show that hate crimes have steadily decreased in the Netherlands from 5,721 in 2014 to 3,299 in 2018. During that same period, however, prosecutions have risen from 133 to 312. The largest motivator of hate crimes was race and xenophobia with 1,442 reported incidents, followed by bias against sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity at a combined 875 incidents reported.
This is not the first time Daniel and Fabio, who recently got engaged, have been subjected to hatred and homophobic outbursts. However, this time they are fighting back.
“At some point you've just had enough,” Daniel told AT5.
The couple planned to file charges with the police. The video is embedded below. Viewer discretion is advised.