Doug and Tony* moved to a town in rural Tasmania in the hope of a quiet life, however, the reality has been described as "like living in a nightmare".
A tirade of harassment, vandalism, and verbal abuse from a neighbour has left the couple "walking on eggshells" in their own home and calling for greater support from authorities.
Tony said the campaign of harassment began suddenly after a small disagreement, but quickly escalated.
The neighbor has allegedly chopped down plants in their yard, screamed homophobic slurs at the two men, ripped out a fence, and filled their mailbox with condoms and lubricant.
"It's really been shocking to see how much time they have dedicated to it," Doug said.
"It could all sound really petty but it's just nonstop, it never ends."
The couple said the abuse had left them in a constant state of fight or flight, and engaging with police regularly.
"We both try and stay away from the house as much as possible," Tony said.
"We love gardening but that's been curbed because we feel like we're constantly being watched.
"We won't have conversations in the backyard in case they hear us."
After living interstate and overseas, the couple said they had never experienced homophobia to this degree, and said they were constantly living in fear of the situation escalating.
"I've never experienced anything like it," Tony said.
"As gay men, in our working life you might experience a bit of prejudice but nothing too in your face.
"This has just been shocking."
Despite engaging regularly with Tasmania Police, Tony said restraining orders were currently their only course of action.
He said between speaking with lawyers and lodging paperwork, proactively fighting the harassment had become another full-time job.
The couple said after reporting countless breaches of the restraining orders, there needed to be stronger protections in place for victims of hate crime.
Tony said they wanted to see the neighbour charged with stalking, but a loophole meant that was not possible after an amendment to the Act in 2019.
The 2019 amendment expanded the charge of stalking to include bullying, but as a safeguard to protect children, the decision to prosecute is a matter for the Director of Public Prosecutions.
"The safeguard was intended to stop children being criminally charged for bullying, but instead it's left us with restraining orders and nothing else," Tony said.
Equality Tasmania president Rodney Croome said hate crimes perpetrated by neighbours were not uncommon and victims often struggled to get adequate support.
"Despite Tasmanians voting strongly for marriage equality, there is still hate in our community," Mr Croome said.
"The case of Tony and Doug is not an isolated one. I know of too many more couples who have experienced the harassment they have experienced."
Mr Croome said Tasmania Police needed to start recording data on hate crime, respond more quickly to reports of harassment, and treat anti-LGBTIQ harassment by neighbours as stalking.
"Police need to recognise these patterns of abuse, rather than treat incidents in isolation," he said.
Tony and Doug said despite the campaign of hate, they remain determined to fight for their rights and the rights of other hate crime survivors.
"We love our community," Doug said.
"We don't want to leave, so we're going to keep fighting."
*Names changed for privacy.