When South Korea announced it was having an election for a new president, it was hoped a left-leaning politician could finally bring in rights for LGBTI people.
But presidential front runner Moon Jae In has said: ‘I do not like [homosexuality]’.
Speaking at a televised debate on Tuesday, the former human rights lawyer of the centre-left Democratic Party was asked by his conservative opponent about how he felt about homosexuality.
Many hoped, with a left-leaning president, same-sex marriage could be a possibility.
But Moon responded ‘I do not like it’, referencing his Catholic faith, and shut down any future of LGBTI equality.
Crashing his campaign event today, 13 members from Solidarity for LGBT Human Rights of Korea were arrested and detained.
Approaching Moon after his speech, the group said they shouted ‘Are you opposing my own existence?’
Many were dragged away by Moon’s security officials.
Police said they had been detained for violating rules on public protest.
‘Moon needs to offer an apology and a correction of his comments made on live television,’ said Jung Yol, a gay rights activist, to AP.
‘What he said was clearly hate speech, and since he is the candidate favored to win the election, his words can influence how people think.’