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Spanish mayor feels heat over anti-gay tirade

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Spanish mayor feels heat over anti-gay tirade
The couple have decided to hold an anti-homophobia protest in San Bartolomé de Bejar to protest against homophobia in rural Spain. Photo: Google Maps
11:37 CEST+02:00
A married couple has pressed charges against a village mayor in central Spain after she shouted out homophobic insults at them in a fit of rage they claim stems from their attempts at making the town hall accounts public.

"We went from being Miguel and Juan Carlos to being the 'fucking homos' of the village," one of the men told Spanish daily 20minutos about their move from Madrid to the village of San Bartolomé.

They bought a house in the 50 person-strong community in Ávila 11 years ago, using it primarily as a weekend and holiday getaway.

Their ordeal reached its peak on April 18th when some of the villagers turned against them for calling the Spanish Civil Guard at the request of their neighbour.

The mob had been drinking outdoors in the village square, an activity which is banned in Spain, leading a bar owner to claim they were stealing his business.

But the group turned against Juan Carlos and Miguel instead, "aggressively forcing their way into (their) home".

"I’m going to beat you up if you take a picture of me," shouted one of the intruders as the couple fought to kick them out.

One of the people trying to make her way into their house was none other than San Bartolomé’s mayor, Montserrat Hernández, who yelled "I’m coming to get you, fucking homos", among other similar insults.

Juan Carlos and Miguel pressed charges against the woman as a result, believing her slanderous attitude was a direct result of their attempts at making the town hall’s books public to all the villagers.

"When you’re married, living in Madrid and no one around you has a problem with you being gay you think homophobia doesn't exist," Juan Carlos told 20 minutos.

"But living in the capital is very different from living in a village deep in Castile."

The couple have also decided to hold an anti-homophobia protest similar to that seen in the city of Badajoz in 2011.

Ten thousand gays, lesbians and transsexuals from across Spain took part a in rally in the city after Badajoz’s mayor Miguel Celdrán said in a press conference he would kick all gays out.

Homophobic attacks represent Spain’s number one reported hate crime with 452 cases in the last year alone. 

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