05/04/2017 3:01 AM AEST | Updated 08/02/2018 11:38 AM AEDT

Straight Men Are Suddenly Holding Hands For A Beautiful Reason

Scores of men are responding to an alleged attack on a gay couple in the Netherlands... by holding hands. 

Jasper Vernes-Sewratan and his husband, Ronnie Sewratan-Vernes, were reportedly attacked early Sunday by a group of six to eight teenage boys, RTL Nieuws reports. The men said they were returning to their Arnhem home hand-in-hand from a party at the time of the attack. 

The incident sent shockwaves through the Netherlands’s LGBTQ community, and was reportedly condemned by Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte. But two of the country’s other lawmakers went a step further, showing solidarity for the couple by holding hands as they arrived at a government meeting Monday.  

LEX VAN LIESHOUT via Getty Images
“We think it is quite normal in the Netherlands to express who you are,” Alexander Pechtold (left) said. 

Alexander Pechtold, who is the leader of the Democrats 66 (D66) party, arrived hand in hand with his party’s financial specialist, Wouter Koolmees, in support of Vernes-Sewratan and Sewratan-Vernes. “We think it is quite normal in the Netherlands to express who you are,” Pechtold said, according to People

As photographs of Pechtold and Koolmees hit international media outlets, the pair’s gesture sparked a social media movement. Men, many of whom say they identify as straight, began posting photographs of themselves holding hands with other men on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #allemannenhandinhand. Check out a few of the stunning images below. 

#allemannenhandinhand #homogeweld

A post shared by Humberto Tan (@humbertotan) on

Ook wij lopen #handinhand: stop geweld tegen homo's! 👬 #allemannenhandinhand

A post shared by De Coen & Sander Show (@coenensander) on

Fuck intolerance and indifference #allemannenhandinhand

A post shared by Black&Blue (@blackandbluenijmegen) on

‪Ook wij doen mee #allemannenhandinhand weer naar huis na een harde dag werken #tolerantie #glasvanooyen ‬

A post shared by Glashandel van Ooyen (@glasvanooyen) on


A post shared by Michel Rogier (@michelrogier) on

#handinhand #allemannenhandinhand #love #🌈 Leef en laat leven!

A post shared by Patrick Martens (@patrickmartens1) on

The effort has since gone global, too. Male colleagues from the Dutch Embassy in London also joined in. did the male staff of the Dutch mission at the United Nations in New York. 

Interestingly, the event nearly coincides with a Dutch LGBTQ milestone. The Netherlands became the world’s first nation to legalize same-sex marriage on April 1, 2001.