Protest against homophobia in Brussels

200 gathered outside Brussels North Railway Station on Saturday afternoon to take part in a demonstration against homophobia in the capital. The protest came after two gay men were attacked earlier this week by their neighbours in an allegedly homophobic incident.

The Judicial Authorities have said that every avenue is being investigated including the possibility that the violence had come about as a result of the escalation of a dispute between neighbours.

However, the demonstrators believe that this was not the case and that the two men were set upon due to their sexual orientation.  

The organiser of the demonstration Graham Peele told the press agency Belga that “Two weeks ago the Gay Pride procession made its way through Brussels. We had hoped that our message then had been understood. However, since then there have been three cases of aggression. This is why we are here today to repeat our message that discrimination and homophobia have no place in Brussels. We should respect people we don’t agree with.”  

Mr Peele added that the stories of homophobic violence that reach the media are just the tip of the iceberg.

One of the victims of Monday evening’s attack said "What happened on Monday evening has marked us for life. However, we have taken heart for all the messages of support we have received".

The Alderwoman responsible for equal opportunities in the Brussels municipality of Schaarbeek where Monday’s incident happened Adelheid Byttebier (Flemish green) told journalists that  

"The story of Jeroen and his partner has touched us deeply and is sadly all too recognisable”.

"As a municipality we do a lot to raise awareness as we believe that it is important for all victims of discrimination from all parts of the community. There is no place for discrimination here”, Ms Byttebier added.