Two men had to be treated in hospital after a 15-strong gang attacked them in Bradford last Thursday.
The local pair, aged 21 and 37, were walking along Heap lane towards Bradford at around 7.30pm when the mob of men and women began verbally abusing them.
Police say the gang then grabbed items from a nearby skip to fashion makeshift weapons and attacked them.
Both men were treated for head injuries that required hospital treatment but were described as not serious.
DI Ian Bryar of Bradford South police said the couple were “very shocked and upset ” and confirmed the incident was being treated as homophobic.
He said: “This was an unprovoked attack on two men walking towards the City centre. Because of the language used by the group towards the victims I believe that this attack was based on the men’s sexuality and is therefore being treated as a homophobic hate crime.
“I know that one the victims visited a local shop on Heap Lane immediately before the attack. There were many people in the shop at the time and I am appealing for these people to come forward and speak to detectives if they have any information that could help us with our enquiries.”
Anyone with any information is asked to contact Bradford South police on 0845 6060606 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.