South Korea: Officials attempt to cancel Seoul Pride, event to go ahead regardless

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The organisers of Seoul Pride have announced the event will go ahead next week in defiance of government orders, after official permission was revoked.

Permission for the 15th Korea Queer Festival, known as Seoul Pride, was granted months ago, but was revoked following the MV Sewol ferry tragedy last month, which took the lives of 290 people.

A district-office spokesman told the Wall Street Journal that the cancellation was because the parade was inappropriate given national sentiment, but organisers allege Christian lobbying groups, who have long objected to the event, filed complaints deliberately in order to get it cancelled

The organisers say the event, to be held in the Sinchon area on June 7, will go ahead regardless of the lack of permission, and claim they are supported by the local business association.

A number of events were cancelled across South Korea following the ferry tragedy, where work is still underway to recover bodies from the capsized vessel.

It is legal to be gay in South Korea. However, the country does not offer same-sex marriage or civil partnerships for same-sex couples. Gay couples can not adopt and there is no anti-discrimination legislation to help protect LGBT people.

Efforts to include protection of sexual orientation in the Anti-Discrimination Act are opposed by religious groups and have been thus far unsuccessful.