Police in London have charged four teenagers with a hate crime for assaulting a lesbian couple who refused to kiss on a London bus.
The couple were left beaten and bloodied by the teens’ late-night attack on May 30.
Melania Geymonat, one of the women, later described the harrowing ordeal on Facebook. She wrote that at least four males made lewd sexual comments and demanded the couple kiss so they could “enjoy watching”.
“In an attempt to calm things down, I started making jokes. I thought this might make them go away,” she wrote.
“Chris even pretended she was sick. But they kept on harassing us, throwing us coins and becoming more enthusiastic about it.
“The next thing I know is that Chris is in the middle of the bus fighting with them. I went over there only to find her face bleeding and three of them beating her up.”
London’s Metropolitan Police said four males, aged between 15 and 18, had been charged with an aggravated hate crime against the lesbian couple.
“As they sat on the top deck, they were approached by a group of four males who began to make lewd and homophobic comments to them,” the police said.
“The women were then attacked and punched several times before the males ran off the bus. A phone and bag were stolen during the assault.”
Some of the group also face other charges including theft, handling stolen goods, and cannabis possession. The suspects will appear in a London youth court on August 21.
Lesbian couple wants spotlight put on homophobic violence
Both women were taken to hospital with facial injuries. Geymonat said she hoped the attack would raise awareness of violence against the LGBTIQ community.
“I’m tired of being taken as a sexual object, of finding out that these situations are usual, of gay friends who were beaten up just because,” she said.
“We have to endure verbal harassment and chauvinist, misogynistic and homophobic violence because when you stand up for yourself s*** like this happens.”
The couple’s Facebook post went viral and was condemned by then-Prime Minister Theresa May and London Mayor Sadiq Khan.
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