Montreal couple say they were victims of homophobic attack
A couple in Montreal claims they were attacked because they are gay.
Simon and Sebastien, who only want to be identified by their first names, were walking to a bar in Hochelaga Maisonneve last weekend, holding hands and embracing when a group of young men and women started shouting at them.
“They said are you f****** faggots … And I said 'What? Are you homophobe? Why did you say that?'” Simon said.
Then things escalated. Both men say they were punched in the face repeatedly. They fled, but eventually decided to go back to the bar
“I said no, I want to [have] a beer - it's my right to be in this place,” Simon said.
After they left, one of the men who allegedly attacked them followed them out and kicked and punched Simon, he says.
Sebastien says the attack makes him feel like he doesn't have the right to exist or to love.
A spokesperson for Gai écoute, an organization that offers support to members of the LGBTQ community and their families, says they receive one to two calls a day reporting homophobic acts.
“Those are just the calls we receive, so it happens more than we think,” said director of communications Maryse Bézaire.
After hearing about what happened to Simon and Sebastien, the organization decided to organize a peaceful protest.
"We want to react to that in a peaceful way but to express that LGBT people should have the same rights as heterosexuals,” Bézaire said.
It's planned for Monday at 6 p.m. at Place Simon-Valois, not too far away from where the attack happened.
Simon and Sebastien filed a police report but the only justice they want is awareness and for other victims of homophobia to know they're not alone.
“We did nothing wrong. All we did was love each other,” Sebastien said.