"Holding Hands" by Sneha ss / CC BY-SA 4.0

A Gay Couple Is in Hiding After Their Kiss Went Viral

Feb 28, 2020

By Nico Lang

A gay couple in Azerbaijan has been forced into hiding after a video of them kissing went viral in the conservative Eastern European country of Azerbaijan.

The controversy began when Ravan Nasimi, 27, bought his boyfriend, 20-year-old Alvi Aghabeyov, a cake to celebrate Valentine’s Day on February 14. In a short video captured by a friend, Nasimi surprises Aghabeyov with the gift, and the two share a short, romantic kiss to mark the occasion. The couple posted it on Facebook shortly after, believing that only close friends and immediate family members—who had been widely supportive of their relationship—would see it.

In the morning, friends messaged to warn them that conservative groups had begun sharing the video on Facebook and Instagram overnight, leading to immediate threats against the couple’s lives. “Those people should be killed,” some critics of the video said, while others offered information about their whereabouts and even cash rewards to anyone who murdered them.

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