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More coverage on the issue of Gay rights

The story about Same-Sex marriage made it into the several newspapers

Korea’s National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Wednesday said it turned down a petition by a British man to recognize his marriage to a Korean man, which was granted in Britain.

“The NHRC has no official position on same-sex marriage,” a commission official said after announcing that the petition was dismissed on Feb. 11. “The decision to deny the request was based on an understanding that such a legal-related issue would first need to be reviewed at a policy level.”

The petition was submitted in 2017 by a 35-year-old British citizen, Simon Hunter-Williams, who asked that his marriage to a Korean man be legally acknowledged by Seoul since they married in the United Kingdom, where same-sex marriage is legal. Hunter-Williams made the request in order to obtain a marriage-based Korean residence (F-6) visa based on his relationship with the Korean citizen.

Same-sex marriage currently has no legal status in Korea, where a largely conservative public remains a barrier to its social acceptance.

The NHRC official stressed that the rejection of the request was not a denial of the validity of same-sex marriage, but the petition was beyond their jurisdiction as there is no legal basis for the matter. For Hunter-Williams to be granted a marriage visa, there would first need to be a change in the legal interpretation of marriage as a result of a “society-wide agreement,” the official added.

According to the official, however, the NHRC opposed any discrimination based on sexual orientation in terms of employment or property ownership.

In addition to his petition to the NHRC, Hunter-Williams had also submitted a similar appeal to President Moon Jae-in last year, but the Justice Ministry declined to review this request.

While this case is the first case submitted in Korea by a couple legally married in another country, activists have long tried to legalize same-sex marriage.

The most well-known of these was led by film director Kim-Jho Kwang-soo, who married another man at a ceremony in 2013 and filed a lawsuit in 2015 asking for legal recognition. Both a district and appeals court ruled against the couple in 2016, citing a lack of legislation.

Most politicians, for their part, have either opposed or remain reluctant to voice support for gay rights, largely due to vocal opposition from conservative members of society.

Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon of the ruling Democratic Party (DP) stood out as an exception, saying in 2014 that he hoped Korea could be the first Asian country to legalize same-sex marriage. Several DP lawmakers submitted a bill in 2014 that would grant a form of legal acceptance for such unions in the form of a “life partnership,” but the bill failed to pass the National Assembly.

Nonetheless, there is growing social acceptance of same-sex marriage from society at large. According to a poll from 2017, 34 percent of respondents – and 66 percent of those in their 20s – said they supported same sex marriage, almost double the number in a similar poll from 2001.

BY SHIM KYU-SEOK [shim.kyuseok@joongang.co.kr]

 

Human Rights in South Korea

Take a look at the latest article on the issue on Same-Sex marriage in Korea.

Rights panel says it doesn’t “deny” same-sex marriage

By Kim So-hyun

  • Published : Feb 27, 2019 – 15:29
  • Updated : Feb 27, 2019 – 15:29
The nation’s human rights panel said it does not “deny” same-sex marriage, but that a policy review and social consensus are necessary before same-sex marriages can be recognized under the law.

The National Human Rights Commission of Korea made the remarks in rejecting a petition filed by a gay couple who got married overseas and asked for their marriage to be recognized here.

National Human Rights Commission of Korea (Yonhap)

A 35-year-old British man named Simon Hunter-Williams married a South Korean man in the UK in 2015 and submitted the petition in 2017, asking the Korean government to guarantee their rights as a married couple.

The rights panel said it decided to reject the petition as there was a need to review the case from a policy perspective.

By law, rejection of a petition by the rights panel is different from dismissal of a petition.

According to Article 32 of the National Human Rights Commission of Korea Act, the commission must reject a petition if “the contents of said petition do not fall under the scope of the matters subject to the investigation” of the panel.

On the other hand, the commission is obligated to dismiss petitions if they contain false statements, if they do not concern human rights violations or discrimination as defined in Korean law, or if “the injury related to the petition has already been relieved.”

The Korean courts do not recognize marriage contracts between individuals of the same sex and do not view their relationship as that of a married couple, the panel said.

For a same-sex spouse of a Korean national to receive authorization to stay here on an F-6 visa, issued to foreign nationals married to Koreans, the judicial interpretations of the definition of a married couple and the validity of a marriage under the Civil Act would have to be revised, and a social consensus on same-sex marriage must be reached, the panel said.

The commission stressed that while its decision was based on the law, the rights body was not speaking out against same-sex marriage.

It has participated in LGBT festivals, with its leader delivering a congratulatory speech at one such festival.

Hunter-Williams was seeking a spousal visa so that he could reside in Korea with the legal status of a foreign spouse.

He sent a petition addressed to President Moon Jae-in last year, requesting that foreign spouses of Korean nationals in same-sex marriages be allowed to apply for F-6 spousal visas, but he received a negative reply from the Justice Ministry.

By Kim So-hyun (sophie@heraldcorp.com)

C’est comment être gai… en Corée du Sud?

AVEC SIMON HUNTER-WILLIAMS

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En juillet 2017, près de 85 000 personnes ont participé à la Pride dans les rues de Séoul, une augmentation de 25 000 personnes par rapport à l’année précédente. Ceci dit, lors d’un sondage mené en décembre 2017, on découvrait que 52% des Sud-Coréens s’opposent toujours au mariage gai. La situation de la communauté LGBT est donc loin d’être rose, comme en témoigne l’expérience de Simon Hunter-Williams, un Anglais de 33 ans qui est marié un Sud-Coréen et vécu en Corée du Sud pendant sept ans.

Très souvent, il a entendu que les gais n’étaient pas les bienvenus en Corée. «Plusieurs expatriés m’ont fait part de problèmes qu’ils vivaient parce qu’ils étaient ouvertement LGBT. Personnellement, j’ai surtout vécu des expériences de discrimination avec des Coréens chrétiens, ceux qui tentent d’influencer le système démocratique et qui utilisent leur argent pour influencer certaines décisions politiques», explique Simon. Militant pour la cause LGBT durant ses années en Corée, il se souvient d’une discussion troublante avec l’organisation nationale des droits humains. «On m’a expliqué que les gais n’ont aucun droit humain parce qu’ils ne font pas partie de la population. D’autres affirmaient même que les homosexuels n’existaient pas en Corée…»
Pourtant, il existe des homosexuels… et de l’homophobie. «Lors de ma première date avec un Coréen, il y a six ans, nous sommes allés dans un restaurant et les propriétaires nous ont demandé de quitter, parce que plusieurs clients ne se sentaient pas confortables en présence d’homosexuels.» De surcroît, les insultes, les attaques et les gestes déplacés sont rarement pris au sérieux. «Un jour, un homme m’a caressé le postérieur dans le métro, et quand j’ai rapporté l’incident à la police, on m’a répondu qu’ils recevaient plusieurs plaintes semblables, mais comme il s’agissait d’un problème entre deux hommes, ils ne feraient rien…» Les lois ne sont pas plus réjouissantes: l’homosexualité est légale en Corée du Sud, mais elle est qualifiée de «harcèlement sexuel» dans le code pénal militaire. «Certains ex-soldats de l’armée coréenne ont quitté le pays ou se sont suicidés en raison d’expériences traumatisantes. J’ai aussi lu que l’armée coréenne utilisait des applications de rencontres pour arrêter des soldats. Il y a eu une grande couverture médiatique sur ce dossier à Séoul.»
Pas surprenant que le dossier du mariage gai progresse lentement. Simon et son amoureux ont essayé d’enregistrer leur mariage en Corée, mais sans succès. «Un professionnel de la Cour suprême nous a répondu que la Corée était un état chrétien et qu’il valait mieux que nous quittions le pays. Le bureau de l’Immigration m’a suggéré d’officialiser mon mariage dans l’un des bureaux régionaux, afin d’obtenir un visa en tant qu’époux, mais quand je m’y suis rendu, les employés riaient de moi ou me disaient de quitter le pays.»
Inévitablement, les murs auxquels Simon s’est frappé ont miné son moral. «C’est triste à dire, mais je crois que le changement va arriver seulement quand une personne LGBT sera assassinée par un extrémiste ou si un autre drame majeur survient. Dans un pays aussi conservateur, s’afficher en tant qu’homosexuel peut encore faire perdre un emploi, mener à l’intimidation ou à l’exclusion.»
Pourtant, il décrit Séoul comme une ville très gaie. «Il y a énormément de bars gais, beaucoup plus que l’on ne peut l’imaginer. La communauté LGBT est bien servie de ce côté, particulièrement dans les secteurs Jongno, Itaweon, Hongik et Hyewha. Il faut dire aussi que les jeunes Coréens sont de plus en plus ouverts à la communauté.»



 

Take a look here

DailyHive strikes again!

Hit the link here but it isn’t that one (below!)

bamboo bamboo whisk board bowls
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

DailyHive Vancouver

Check out my photography used on Daily Vine here20180216_155532.jpg

Exploring

Getting into Vancouver life requires less coffee, less speed and patience (or just being totally laid back!) and it is nice.. sometimes — although I love the faster pace of life that Asia offers^^

Vancouver has a charm that Seoul doesn’t hold, nature within a short bus ride, cruise boats within ten minute walk from your front door, ocean views, mountains layered like cake with snow at the brim and the green of summer shining through!

This weekend, I took my husband to somewhere totally new – Lynn Valley and it was magical. We headed for a a quick McDonalds as our hunt for food when jumping off the bus didn’t leave many an option but when we headed to the gorge- we were left in awe – take a look here

Looking backwards

As you know, we’ve recently relocated to Vancouver in Canada.

We’ve sorted our home and finding work but my mind often swings back to Korea.

Yesterday, I was playing with the Clips feature of my IPhone and made this short video!

Korea will always remain my second home, I love the excitement and buzz of the big city. The wide array of galleries, shops and tourist hotspots to explore (something Vancouver needs to work on!)

Take a look here:

https://instagram.com/p/Bidi8otFiFU/

More coming soon!

Don’t worry, the website is being updated but the data has been eaten up by all the images.. more coming soon!

MegaBite Pizza, Van

 

Location

1005 Granville St, Vancouver, BC V6Z 1L4

After a long morning exploring, we were starving and found this magical bargain pizza place!

I recommend it for a quick bite and it can suit vegetarish types such as myself and meat eaters (like the other half!)