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'Unprovoked' Gang of Men Beat, Rob Gay Couple in Edinburgh

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Wednesday August 4, 2021
Originally published on August 3, 2021

News reports say that a gay couple in Edinburgh, Scotland, was beaten and robbed in a sudden attack perpetrated by four men at about 9:20 p.m. on July 30. Witnesses also claim anti-LGBTQ slurs were hurled as the assailants kicked and beat the men, and said one of the perpetrators grabbed a bag belonging to the couple before fleeing the scene.

One witness said the attack came out of nowhere, recalling "a group of men kicking and spitting on a man on the ground," Scottish newspaper The National reported.

"It was unprovoked entirely — the gay men did not fight back, they only tried to defend themselves," the witness told local newspaper the Edinburgh Evening News.

Seeing how bystanders were laughing at the violence being inflicted on the victims, the witness recorded video of the assault.

The witness recounted, "I was frozen and shaking trying to just record so I missed the first half but the boys were laughing, egging each other on and calling the victims poofs" (a British vulgarity that is used as an anti-gay insult), Edinburgh Live reported.

"When I spoke to the victim afterwards he told me one minute he was speaking to a woman about doing motivational speeches and next thing he was being assaulted," the witness added.

Newspaper accounts included photos of the assault that blurred the faces of the alleged perpetrators.

"It is understood the two victims are a married gay couple and that one of them has been receiving hospital treatment for their injuries," the Edinburgh Evening News relayed.

The two men — ages 33 and 30 — were not badly injured, news sources said, but police are taking the matter seriously.

According to the Daily Record, Edinburgh Detective Inspector Mark McGraw told the press that the investigation "is ongoing and being treated as a hate crime," and added that "an attack on people because of their sexual orientation, gender, race or beliefs, is not only abhorrent but will not be tolerated."

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.