Metro Weekly

Over 200,000 sign petition to ban “abominable” Queer Festival in South Korea

Religious groups are saying the LGBTQ festival should not be held in the Seoul Plaza because it belongs "to all citizens"

A South Korean activist at Los Angeles Pride. The sign reads “Shall I say I love you?” – Photo: InSapphoWeTrust / Flickr

A petition to ban an annual gay pride festival in Seoul, South Korea, has received over 200,000 signatures.

The petition was started on Blue House, South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s official website, on June 14th. It has since garnered support from traditionalists and religious groups, who are calling for an end to the “abominable” three-day Queer Culture Festival taking place this weekend in Seoul Plaza.

The festival, currently in its 19th year, will include art exhibitions, a film festival and the Seoul Queer Parade on Saturday, July 14.

According to Britain’s Telegraph, the petition says that they are not advocating “discriminating against sexual minorities,” but that the Plaza should not host the festival because it belongs “to all citizens.”

“We do not want to see their abominable events in a square where we should be able to rest and relax,” it reads. “Every year, queer-themed events such as street performances, drinking and smoking are called ‘cultural festivals,’ but they are just occasions filled with illegal acts and hypocrisy.”

The petition added: “Homosexuals and normal people should not engage in such perverse and obscene events in a plaza that is meant to be a space for citizens to relax. True human rights are not indulgences.”

While homosexuality is not illegal in South Korea, traditional Korean society disapproves of LGBTQ people and relationships. Same-sex marriages are also not considered legitimate by the government and committing homosexual acts while active in the military is an offense that carries up to one year in prison.