Gay couple terrified to hold hands or kiss in public after being threatened and ‘told to die’ by homophobic thugs
A gay couple have been left terrified to hold hands or kiss in public after they were threatened and told to “die” by homophobic thugs.
The men, from Taunton, Somerset, have been subjected to a campaign of harassment by a group of teenage boys in the town because of their sexuality, according to Somerset Live.
The couple, who have not been named, were subjected to vile anti-gay hatred on a number of occasions in Taunton. The incidents have been reported to police.
“There have been certain people following us, people calling us gay, saying we should have a girlfriend,” one of the men said.
“I’m not even holding hands or kissing in public anymore. My partner tried to kiss me, I said I can’t do it.
“It needs to stop, we’re both getting anxious when we go into town and it’s something we both don’t need.”
The man said he and his boyfriend were walking into town one day when they noticed a group of teenage boys following them.
He overheard the boys saying they would wait for the gay couple to turn a corner and they would then follow behind. When the couple turned the corner, the gay man decided to look back, and discovered that the teenage boys were chasing them.
“These four boys said to us: ‘You don’t deserve love’ and, ‘You should die because you’re gay’ and that just hurt me,” he said.
“My partner is terrified, we both thought we were going to get beaten.”
Gay couple want to leave Taunton, Somerset over homophobic abuse.
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The gay couple are now considering moving away from Taunton because of the abuse, despite the fact that they have only lived there since April.
In that time, they have also had eggs and stones thrown at their windows because of their sexuality.
The men were inundated with support from locals when they shared their traumatising experience on Facebook, with some even offering to accompany them with cameras while they walk into town.
A spokesperson for Avon and Somerset Police told Somerset Live that they are investigating after they received a report that four boys, aged between 15 and 17, targeted the gay couple on Monday, 18 January.
Police said the incident is being treated as a public order offence and that they are being supported by a police hate crime champion.
Local officers urged anybody with information on the suspects to call 101 and quote the reference number 5221012267.