Gay movie allowed for minors in Korea

November 14, 2013

By Kim Jae-won

Movie director and producer Kim-Jho Gwang-soo, left, speaks before his wedding ceremony with his partner Kim Seung-hwan at Cheonggye Stream in downtown Seoul, Saturday, the first public wedding ceremony for a same-sex couple in a country that does not recognize gay marriage. / Yonhap

Movie director and producer Kim-Jho Gwang-soo, left, speaks before his wedding ceremony with his partner Kim Seung-hwan at Cheonggye Stream in downtown Seoul, Saturday, the first public wedding ceremony for a same-sex couple in a country that does not recognize gay marriage. / Yonhap

The Supreme Court upheld a lower court’s ruling Thursday which ordered the state movie rating agency to cancel its decision to block a gay movie from being seen by minors.

The highest court said that it was unlawful for the Korea Media Rating Board to classify “Friendship?” an 18-rated movie, meaning only those aged 18 and older could be admitted.

“There are no scenes in the movie which are more harmful to minors than other 15-rated films,” the court said in the ruling.

In December 2009, the board rated the movie for those 18 and older, saying its description of a sexual encounter was too explicit for minors. The movie, which dealt with a same-sex relationship between minors, was directed by a gay male director Kim-Jho Kwang-soo.

In disagreeing with the rating, Youth Film ― producer of the film ― filed a lawsuit with a Seoul district court calling the decision “discrimination against same-sex relationships.”

Kim-Jho held a public wedding ceremony with his same-sex partner Kim Seung-hwan in downtown Seoul in September, the first of its kind in the country which does not recognize same-sex marriages.

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