Gay rights opponents block hearing in Seoul

November 20, 2014
Gay rights opponents protest at Seoul City Hall, Thursday. They blocked a meeting of experts who planned to hold discussions on protecting sexual minorities. (Yonhap)

Gay rights opponents protest at Seoul City Hall, Thursday. They blocked a meeting of experts who planned to hold discussions on protecting sexual minorities. (Yonhap)

By Lee Kyung-min

The Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) postponed a public hearing on gay rights Thursday after some 200 activists opposed to fair treatment of homosexuals stormed into the capital’s City Hall to stop the proceedings.

SMG officials initially planned to gather opinions from a range of experts during the hearing in an effort to draft a Charter of Human Rights for Citizens in Seoul.

Experts are divided over whether to include a clause on protecting sexual minorities in the charter.

Some Christian groups are vehemently opposed to including this statement — “Every Seoul citizen has a right not to be discriminated against based on sexual orientation, sexual identity, educational background, religion, and the right not to be subject to any form of discrimination banned by law.”

Among the protestors were members of the Christian Council of Korea, which represents some 45,000 churches, and is on the record as opposing gay rights.

They bombarded the SMG message board when Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon spoke out in favor of gay rights during an interview with a U.S. newspaper last month.

Park told the San Francisco Examiner that he personally agreed with protecting the rights of homosexuals.

Gay rights have been neglected in the nation’s political dialog.

In the 2013 presidential campaign, liberal contender Moon Jae-in pledged to explore “institutional alternatives” on the issue of same-sex marriage.

But in the face of a Christian backlash, he backed down, promising instead to “prevent laws permitting homosexual relations and marriages.”

He lost the election to President Park Geun-hye.

8 Comments

  1. Daniel

    November 21, 2014 at 2:30 AM

    The church leaders line their pockets with money. Religious leaders killed Jesus so no surprise many such “leaders” destroy his teachings about loving your neighbor and not discriminating.

  2. Simon

    November 21, 2014 at 9:51 AM

    I do not support gay rights, but if a person is one, then who am I to criticize? Either ways, I feel these people.

  3. John

    November 21, 2014 at 11:03 AM

    I didn’t realize Korea had so many of these nutjob Christians.
    What a shame.

  4. Todd in DC

    November 21, 2014 at 11:05 AM

    Ah, the right to discriminate. Because Christ eaters are so special. Right?

    Guess these people were ok with America’s camps for Asians during WWII.

    Right?

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