The National Human Rights Commission of Korea on Wednesday (27 February) claimed it did not ‘deny’ the rights of a same-sex couple to marry.
But, it also rejected a petition filed by a British and South Korean gay couple who got married overseas and asked for their marriage to be recognized.
The commission said they would need to review policies and social consensus before permitting same-sex marriage, according to the Korea Herald.
A rejection of a petition is different from a dismissal, the newspaper reports.
It means the petition did not fall under the ‘scope of the matters subject to the investigation’.
Homosexuality is legal in South Korea. But, conservative attitudes, especially among Christians, force many LGBTI Koreans to live in the closet.
What’s more, there is currently no discrimination legislation to protect LGBTI Koreans. Same-sex marriage is also not legal.
South Korea’s fledging LGBTI movement has triggered a conservative backlash, rights groups recently warned.
Recently, anti-LGBTI campaigners shaved their heads in protest outside the commission’s headquarters.
Buzzing homophobia: these Korean ‘Christians’ felt the need to protest outside the National Human Rights Commission yesterday by publicly shaving their heads, against the “pro-gay” organisation https://t.co/yQGfkfpcqu pic.twitter.com/AfdymJyqpH
— Raphael Rashid (@koryodynasty) February 13, 2019
Pride under attack
Organizers of the largest LGBTI pride event in South Korea urged the government not to give in to conservative groups and protect attendees.
Pride events in Korea are increasingly under attack from conservative Christians. The groups pressure authorities to deny permission and violently disrupt activities.
‘The government should drop its attitude of walking on eggshells around haters and instead show its willingness to guarantee universal rights for the socially marginalized, including sexual minorities’ said organizer Kang Myung-jin.
Conservative Christian groups have launched significant attacks against LGBTI pride events in 2018.
More than 200,000 people signed a petition demanding the government acts to prevent the Seoul Queer Festival from taking place.
‘We do not want to see their abominable events in a square’ the petition read.
In Busan, thousands of police protected pride attendees.