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South Korea’s Constitutional Court nominee speaks out for same-sex marriage

South Korea’s Constitutional Court nominee speaks out for same-sex marriage

Lee Seok-tae faces questions in South Korea's National Assembly (Photo: YouTube)

A Constitutional Court in South Korea nominee spoke out in favor of same-sex marriage at his confirmation hearing on Monday (10 September).

Lawmakers grilled Lee Seok-tae, including asking him if he was gay. South Koreans also criticized his position online.

Homosexuality is legal in South Korea. But there is currently no discrimination legislation to protect LGBTI people. Same sex marriage is illegal.

Conservative attitudes, especially among Christians, force many LGBTI Koreans to live in the closet.

On Saturday, More than 1,000 conservative Christian demonstrators verbally and physically attacked an LGBTI festival in South Korea’s port city Incheon.

 

‘Basic rights’

‘We should not look at the matter in terms of for and against, but basic rights’ Lee reportedly said of same-sex marriage on Monday.

He said homosexuals were a minority and noted that other countries had been legalizing same-sex marriage.

‘It won’t be easy in the short run, but we have to understand and face it,’ he said to lawmakers.

Lee faced a number of homophobic responses and questions from lawmakers. One lawmaker asked if he was homosexual.

Another said that Lee equating homosexuals to left-handed people (as a minority) would make left-handed people angry.

Netizens on South Korea’s favored online platform, Naver, also criticized Lee’s position, according to local reporters.