A Costa Blanca councillor has slammed a homophobic insult shouted at him during a seaside walk with his husband on Saturday

Mariano Valera, Elche’s Equality and Social Rights councillor was holding hands with his partner at Santa Pola when two youths riding on bicycles pulled up and shouted ‘deviants’ at them.

Valera said he wanted to chase after them but it was impossible since they were on bikes.

“We were perplexed and didn’t know what to say or do, and we simply looked at each other as what happened made us very sad,” the councillor said.

“Crime cannot be love but the real crime is hate.”

Rather than reporting a hate crime to the police, Valera decided to publicise the incident via social media ‘for what has happened to me and for what is happening and continues to happen’.

“We are going to continue holding hands and we are going to continue to state that we want to live in a diverse and equal society that is free of hate,” he added.

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