[NPR] A Showdown Looms At South Korea’s Gay Pride Parade

June 26, 2015
A woman, right, holds up a sign that reads, "Both parents are men, both parents are women. Our children are crying," beside an event supporter at the annual Korea Queer Festival (KQF) last week in Sinchon, northwestern Seoul. (Yonhap)

The growing visibility of South Korea’s gays and lesbians has led to louder opposition from church groups in recent years, and this weekend’s event has organizers preparing for confrontation. A woman, right, holds up a sign that reads, “Both parents are men, both parents are women. Our children are crying.” (Yonhap)

[NPR] —  In Seoul, a gay pride parade 15 years in the running is at the center of heated controversy between LGBT groups and Christian activists, who threaten to do what it takes to stop the marchers.

The growing visibility of South Korea’s gays and lesbians has led to louder opposition from church groups in recent years, and this weekend’s event has organizers preparing for confrontation.

“In the Bible, homosexuality is sin. And to publicize your personal, private identity like that is a problem,” says Pastor Jonah Lee of Calvary Church in Seoul. He is part of the religious opposition to gay culture, and calls himself formerly gay — cured of 43 years of homosexuality.

Gay rights in South Korea have become so contentious that at a pride month kickoff event earlier in June, more anti-gay protesters showed up than LGBT participants.

The Christian groups blared a Korean version of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” to try and drown out pride event speakers. They also handed out leaflets, shouted into megaphones, and held up signs with messages like: “Homosexuality will destroy humanity.”

“Churches oppose the festival and parade because it’s too decadent,” says Lee. “Korea is not as open and free so as you could walk around with your bottom hanging out like that.”

Public polls seem to back up the pastor. [READ MORE]

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