South Korea: Christian protesters disrupt Seoul Pride festival

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Activists at Seoul Pride clashed with Christian protesters attempting to stop the event, according to reports.

The Korea Queer Festival, which was held in the South Korean capital yesterday, was targeted by a large group, who chanted anti-gay slogans and hurled abuse.

The protesters also blocked the parade route by lying down in front of the floats, while police made several arrests and attempted to keep the peace between the groups.

The two groups stood off for several hours, while the protesters chanted “gays have no place in this country”.

According to one account: “Seoul Pride was interrupted by a group of Christian extremist protesters.

“Thousands of LGBTQ citizens and their allies attending the parade were halted after walking only half a block, as the protesters laid down in front of the float trucks.”

The festival had last week run into trouble when its official permission with revoked, following a number of complaints.

A city spokesman said the complainants thought the parade was inappropriate after the MV Sewol ferry tragedy, but organisers had claimed Christian groups filed complaints deliberately in order to get it cancelled.

It is not known if the groups which disrupted the parade are the same as those who filed complaints.

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.

Watch footage of the clash below: