South Korean film director announces plan to marry boyfriend

Same-sex wedding officially planned for 7 September, but won't be legally binding

South Korean film director announces plan to marry boyfriend
16 May 2013

South Korean film director Gwang-soo Kim Jho yesterday announced his plans to marry his boyfriend in a symbolic ceremony to bring attention to LGBT rights.

‘We wanted to convey the message that all sexual minorities should be given rights equally in a beautiful way,’ Kim Jho said at a press conference, where he and his boyfriend were dressed in tuxedos and kissed for the cameras, Reuters reports.

Kim Jho said he will apply to get his marriage legally registered after the ceremony on 7 September. ‘It will most definitely be denied,’ he said. ‘But then I will file a constitutional appeal… and I will fight to legalize gay marriage.’

Gay Star News reported on plans for the wedding in January after interviewing Kim Jho’s boyfriend Sunghwan Kim.

‘A big open same-sex marriage performance can get media attention very easily and draw public attention,’ said Kim in the interview, adding that they were aiming for 100,000 people to attend.

At the press conference Kim Jho said he will invite failed progressive presidential candidate Moon Jae In, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and South Korean President Park Geun Hye, who is socially conservative.

‘Even though President Park Geun Hye and I walk different roads both politically and philosophically, I think I should definitely invite her since she’s the country’s president,’ said Kim Jho.

‘I’m planning to invite many people who are in leading positions in Korea. I hope they can provide help in the advancement for the rights of the sexual minority.’

The couple want to use the traditional wedding money gifts to start an LGBT center in Seoul.

‘In Korea we do not have a donation culture,’ Kim told Gay Star News. ‘People don’t usually give money to charities – but they do at weddings. At a marriage ceremony a lot of people give money to the couple.’

After mainstream success as a film director, Kim Jho launched a production company that specializes in LGBT-themed films, Rainbow Factory, in 2011.

A conservative Christian culture is an obstacle to acceptance of LGBT rights in South Korea. Last year protests about Lady Gaga visiting the country led to under-18s being banned from her concert.

And a late-night talkshow on trans issues was dropped after one episode after a Christian group took out a newspaper advert denouncing the show and warning ‘children will blindly follow in the steps of transgenders‘.

Earlier this week a South Korean gay rights group released a YouTube clip of over 100 LGBT people and allies singing a pro-equality song.  

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

After 42 years together, Lily Tomlin and Jane Wagner get married

The comedy icon and the writer got hitched on New Year's Eve
No thumbnail available

Australian Labor leadership hopefuls differ on LGBT candidate quotas

The Australian Labor Party’s right wing faction’s Bill Shorten wants his party to adopt candidate quotas for minority groups to boost their involvement in the party but left wing faction leader Anthony Albanese doesn’t think that’s necessary
No thumbnail available

Gay UKIP politician: ‘Gay marriage breeds homophobia’

David Coburn MEP, the first UKIP politician elected in Scotland, is opposed to same-sex marriage despite being in a relationship with a man for 30 years
No thumbnail available

Dan Savage fires back at US Senator who says gays need perspective

He suggests that it's Republican Senator Dan Cotton who actually needs to get some perspective
No thumbnail available

Rhode Island's House of Representatives passes gay marriage bill

Legislation now goes to State Senate where it faces tougher fight
No thumbnail available

Tasmanian opposition leader stands against gay marriage

Liberal leader of the opposition in Tasmania will not allow his MPs a conscience vote on gay marriage
No thumbnail available

Sweden adds gender-neutral pronoun to dictionary

'Hen' can refer to a transgender person or someone whose gender is unknown or irrelevant.
No thumbnail available

Pioneering Australian prime minister on gay rights Gough Whitlam dies aged 98

Gough Whitlam, who lead the Australian Government from 1972 to 1975 and was one of the first Labor Party leaders to champion the rights of gays and lesbians, passed away this morning aged 98
No thumbnail available

'Religious freedom' bill fails to pass in Maine

This past Tuesday Maine's Senate also voted Bill LD 1428 down, 19-6
No thumbnail available

Top Australian union boss says Labor must defend gay marriage in the ACT

Australian Workers Union boss Paul Howes told GSN he believes his party must vote as one to preserve the legislative independence of the Australian Capital Territory as it moves to become the first Australian jurisdiction to allow same-sex couples to wed