A gay couple living in Dudley, United Kingdom were targeted by a gang of homophobic teenagers, who hurled vile abuse at them and threw rocks at their house. The West Midlands Police said they are investigating the case as a “hate crime”. 

Trigger Warning: This story has details of a homophobic attack, which might be distressing to some readers. For 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.

The married couple Kieran (24) and Steven Douglas-Lane (33) had recently moved from Liverpool to Dudley to start a new life, reported Pink News

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On March 13, the couple were walking home from a supermarket when they were followed and subjected to abuse by a group of teenagers on electric scooters. 

Police Seek Information About Attackers

“It’s understood a group of youngsters followed two men from a shop on Birmingham Road at around 4pm, shouting abuse,” a West Midlands Police spokesperson said in a statement. 

“Objects including stones were also thrown at the home but thankfully no one was injured and no damage reported. Officers attended and the victims have told us this was a hate crime and offensive homophobic language was used.”

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“We will not tolerate hate crime and this type of offence, especially at someone’s home, is totally unacceptable,” the police added, and urged those who might have information about the attack to contact them. 

Social Media Removes Video

Kieran shared a video of the attack on Facebook and Tik Tok with the message: “To have your house attacked for your sexuality is so disheartening. Please spread love and not hate and teach your kids respect”.  

The video attracted online trolls who abused the couple and accused them of being “paedophiles”. Facebook and TikTok took down the videos, and Facebook warned Kieran that his account would be restricted if he posts such content again. 

“Facebook! Do tell me why my post got taken down when this kid threw rocks at my house and shouted homophobia !! And yet my account is under warning ?,” Kieran posted on the social media platform. 

Steve told Birmingham Mail that they were considering moving out of Dudley.

The UK has witnessed a rising number of homophobic and transphobic incidents in recent times. According to ITV, London had recorded around 3,555 homophobic and transphobic attacks in 2021, a 21% increase from 2019, which saw 2,926 attacks.

This included the attack on 50-year-old Ranjith ‘Roy’ Kankanamalage, who was attacked and killed in the Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park on August 16, 2021.

 

If you feel distressed reading the story, you can reach out to support services.

For 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14

For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.

 

 

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