From Korea with Love

"I carry your heart with me… always."

First Gay Marriage in South Korea Causes a Stir

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Photo from "The Korea Times"

Photo from “The Korea Times”

Yesterday (September 7th), the marriage of two Korean males in Seoul caused a hullabaloo.

The couple, Kimjo Gwang-soo, 48, and Kim Seung-hwan, 29, are both filmmakers. Kimjo is a well-known movie director and producer in South Korea, whereas Kim is the head of a gay film distributor, Rainbow Factory. They established a movie company together and has imported movies.

Their wedding is said to be the first public gay wedding ever to take place in South Korea. No wonder it drew a lot of attention from the media and gay marriage critics.

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Photo from “서울신문”

The wedding was attended by 1,000 guests including celebrities, a politician and an activist, but not everyone who came to the ceremony were there to congratulate the couple or wish them well.

A 54-year-old man, who introduced himself as a church elder, barged in, went up on the stage and threw food from a container as he was shouting, “Homosexuality is a sin! It destroys families and society!” The man was taken into police custody.

Another man, Hong Jeong-shik, head of a conservative activist group called People Saving Society, tried to intrude, but good thing, the couple’s friends were able to stop him.

Photo from “서울신문”

Same-sex marriage is a big issue, not only in South Korea. Even in my country, the Philippines, where gays and lesbians are more tolerated, the idea of same-sex marriage generates a lot of objections, especially from religious sectors.

Homosexuality is not accepted in Korean society, so it is no surprise that same-sex marriages are not legally recognized in this country.

According to article 31 of the Korean Human Rights Committee Law, “no individual is to be discriminated against on the basis of his or her sexual orientation,” but if you ask Koreans what they think of gays or lesbians, you will get mostly negative reactions. My husband and his friends are some of those who just can’t stand the thought of a Korean being gay. I often get into a debate with them when we talk about gays and gay relationships. Just last night, my husband and I had another heated debate about yesterday’s first public gay wedding. Back in the Philippines, I have many gay friends and they are no different from any other people. They are normal, hardworking people who have dreams and aspirations, people they care about, values they uphold. My husband has met some of my gay friends. He isn’t rude to them. He neither likes nor dislikes them, but I would not expect him to want to hang out with them like he would with my male friends.

14 thoughts on “First Gay Marriage in South Korea Causes a Stir

  1. Thank you for reblogging it, Martin. Enjoy your weekend. ^^

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  2. Hi, Donya. I’m pretty sure my husband is straight. He pretends to be gay, though, at times… when he wants to amuse me. He’s sooooo bad at it. =)

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  3. Reblogged this on Life, Religion, and Rock n' Roll! and commented:
    This is an interesting article. It’s cool to see gays become more open in Korea, even if it’s just a little bit. I hope that one day, South Korea will legalize gay marriage. Though I’m not gay, I am a strong supporter of gay rights, though I think “gay rights” should just all under the term of human rights. Anyways, give it a read.

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  4. you know, many men who are very anti-gay are actually gays in the closet themselves and simply don’t have the courage to come out or live a parallel gay live that nobody of their friends and family knows about. but i’m sure that’s not the case for your husband!

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  5. I hope they suceed🙂

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  6. Hi, Steph. =) Whether or not we are gays, lesbians, transgenders, bisexuals, “straight”… we should all be given equal rights, and that includes the right to marry and establish a legally recognized union.

    Thanks for dropping by. =)

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  7. Hi, Veronika. ^^ How I wish my country and South Korea would allow same-sex marriage and give homosexuals the same rights they are given in Germany. Who are we to judge them, who they want to be or with whom they choose to be? Perhaps you are right, what is our real basis of the word “normal” when we are all different from one another, gay, lesbian or “straight”?

    Thank you for your insight. (I suppose you are learning Korean. Keep it up. ^^)

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  8. According to the news, they are planning to file a marriage registration. If the district office will not approve it, they will file a petition with the Constitutional Court.

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  9. Oh im so happy for them🙂 )
    Love is Love anyways and for people who hate Homosexuality no one chose to be Homosexuals they are born that way and since when did you choose to be a Heterosexual? Hahaha
    Anyways a lot of people still doesn’t know the difference between Gay and Transsexual people

    Gays are just like your normal boyfriend or brother etc Tbh. Because i met a lot of gays and they’re not the sissy ones and don’t wear girl’s clothes like in the Philippines. Actually what i see in the Philippines are actually not gay people they are transsexuals.

    Well Transsexuals are those people who want to be the opposite sex and and love there same sex.
    Gays are just guys who are satisfied being guys and love the same sex:/

    Anyways another congratulations to them ^^

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  10. I didn’t know that wedding ceremonies are not legally recognized in Korea, that’s why they could have the ceremony. I guess it will be interesting to see if they will be allowed to register the marriage.

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  11. What counts is the human …
    his humanity, his conscience and respect for others.
    It should not be of interest if I give away my heart to a
    woman or Man, and above all, it is nobody’s business,
    what happens behind the bedroom door!!! :o(

    “Human dignity is inviolable!”
    This also includes freedom of speech,
    religious liberty and freedom of mate choice!

    What use is it if we force our gay fellows
    into a heterosexual marriage?
    They and their spouses were dissatisfied and unhappy,
    any existing children would be hurt in an extremely way,
    divorces would inevitably ……… shall I enumerate?

    I am a “completely normal heterosexual woman!”
    (I hate the word NORMAL, what is normal?)
    In my life (I’m 47y.), I have met many lesbians and gay men.
    With many I have made ​​friends, with one couple I even have a very close friendship.
    It is neither an infectious disease nor is it containing an anti-social surrounding.
    They are really hard-working people who are take
    care of their elderly parents and pay off a nice house.
    In general, they are people like you and me who have the same worries
    and are just trying to find their little piece of happiness in life.

    Who are we, that we dare to refuse this little bit of happiness?

    PS:
    For over 10 years, homosexuals are allowed to marry in Germany!
    Marriages are registered officially and inheritances are recognized.
    Soon it will be decided whether this marriage Communities may adopt Children.
    About tax-breaks of a marriage partnership will be counseled.

    ^.^ 나는이 블로그를 좋아한다. >^ㅅ^<
    귀하의 리포트는 굉장한입니다.
    감사합니다.

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  12. It isn’t. Same-sex marriage is not recognized in SK, thats’s why their wedding became a huge issue here.

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  13. That’s great🙂 Good for them.

    But I though gay marriage isn’t allowed in Korea?

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