A couple leaving a Chelsea movie theater early this morning was attacked by a group of men spewing anti-gay slurs, resulting in one of the victims being hospitalized with lacerations on his face.

The incident occurred as the pair exited Chelsea Cinemas on West 24th Street and 9th Avenue just after 1 a.m., NBC reports. The two were holding hands when they were approached by two men, one of whom said "What are you looking at, you f------," before commencing the assault. Several other men, believed to be friends of the assailants, joined the fray, sending one victim to Beth Israel where he required seven stitches.

According to DNAinfo, one of the victims was slashed with a knife, though the FDNY would not confirm the nature of the assault.

Council Speaker (and mayoral candidate) Christine Quinn was quick to denounce the assault. “I am appalled by reports that two men were senselessly beaten in Chelsea simply because they were perceived to be gay," she said in a statement. "The cowardly individuals who committed this crime do not represent New Yorkers and our community will not be cowed by such violence."

The incident comes just a few months after a gay man was murdered in Greenwich Village, inspiring thousands to rally in protest of hate crimes.