Police in South Korea were ruled unlawful by a court in Seoul when they banned a pride march to held 28 June according to the organisers.
The police had denied permits for the Pride march, citing conflicting applications for events that overlapped the parade route. The application process ended in a showdown between Christian conservatives and LGBT activists – both groups had reportedly camped outside of the same police station for over a week, but the conservatives were first to file their applications.
“Unless there is a clear risk of danger to the public, preventing the demonstration is not allowed and should be the absolute last resort,” the Seoul Court stated
“This court’s decision in relation to the police’s unjust notice prohibiting assembly is important,” said Queer Cultural Festival’s Chairman Myeong Jin. “Within a democratic country, built on civil society, the guarantee that society can use their voice has a deep meaning.”
This isn’t the first time conservative and LGBT groups have clash; last year the march was disrupted by anti-LGBT activists lying in the middle of the road, effectively blocking the parade floats from passing.
This year’s event is anticipated to draw in over 20,000 people. At the start of Seoul’s Pride event, 11 June, protesters had lined the side of the road with signs which read “Homosexual Marriage Against Human Nature” and “Gays out: Homosexuals have no human rights.”
Korea has two forms of Christianity, Protestantism and Catholicism, 8.6 million and 5.3 million members respectively.