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South Korean LGBT Activists Declare Victory After Seoul Mayor Agrees To Address Discrimination: VIDEO

Seoul

The mayor of Seoul, South Korea, has apologized for failing to proclaim a new civil rights charter that includes LGBT protections, and agreed to establish a panel to discuss ways to end discrimination, according to a coalition of activist groups.  

The LGBT coalition, called Rainbow Action, decided to end a six-day sit-in at Seoul City Hall after meeting with Mayor Park Won-soon last week. 

The sit-in began when Won-soon and the Seoul Municipal Government declined to proclaim the charter on World Human Rights Day as originally scheduled, saying the LGBT protections had caused "social conflict." 

The Rainbow Action coalition alleged Won-soon, a former human rights attorney who recently expressed support for same-sex marriage, had caved to pressure from South Korea's powerful right-wing religious lobby.

From Rainbow Action: 

In the end, at 5 PM on December 10, the fifth day of the sit-in, the mayor requested a private conversation with the protesters. Consequently, a delegation consisting of six representatives from both LGBT activist groups and civil NGOs met with him. From the start, dialogue had been one of the protesters’ demands. During the private conversation, the mayor apologized to the LGBT delegation, “It is my responsibility and fault.” Saying, “I am sorry for the emotional pain that you have suffered and will make whatever statements that you demand,” he made it clear that “This is an occasion for me to offer comfort for the emotional pain that you have suffered and to apologize to you” and, “regardless of any misunderstanding or statement, no citizen will be subjected to discrimination or disadvantage.” He also stated, “I will search for practical ways of resolving the difficulties that you suffer from.” 

Rainbow Action continued its sit-in when a subsequent press release from the city and Facebook post from the mayor glossed over the issues and offered only vague apologies. But the following morning, Seoul's innovation officer met with the protesters and agreed to form a panel to work on ending discrimination in city government, prompting Rainbow Action to throw a victory party and end the protest:  

Throughout the 6-day-long sit-in, the protesters were showered with support from both home and abroad. Indeed, over 300 NGOs including those for human rights, people with disability, women, civil society, laborers, and other minorities provided signatures of support in just one day. In addition, moving messages of support poured in from LGBT rights activist groups, major figures, and grassroots organizations overseas. Furthermore, countless people visited the City Hall and joined the cultural festival held every evening by the protesters. Through the sit-in, South Korean sexual minorities showed that the government and hate-mongers alike may not thoughtlessly disregard their rightful demand and movement for full social citizenship. The sit-in also served as an occasion for LGBT people in the nation to have more self-confidence and to confirm the future direction of their continued fight for justice and equality. The protesters are deeply grateful to friends and allies around the globe for their solidarity.

Watch Rainbow Action's video thanking supporters around the world, AFTER THE JUMP ... 

Continue reading "South Korean LGBT Activists Declare Victory After Seoul Mayor Agrees To Address Discrimination: VIDEO" »


Anti-Gay Protesters Halt LGBT-Inclusive Seoul Human Rights Charter in South Korea

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Seoul, South Korea has scrapped a planned human rights charter offering protections for gay citizens following protests from anti-gay groups, reports Pink News.

The charter, which was proposed by the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) in August and was due to be enacted on December 10th to coincide with International Human Rights Day, included a clause that a person “has the right not to be discriminated against based on his or her sexual orientation or sexual identity.”

SeoulHowever, the last six public hearings on the charter were protested by anti-gay Christian groups.

Last Friday, almost half of the 180 citizen volunteers selected by the SMG to be a part of the enactment of the charter left a hearing in the city hall when they were told that the inclusion of the clause on gay rights would be decided by a vote.

While 60 of the remaining 73 volunteers voted in favor of the gay rights clause, the SMG said it was postponing the charter’s enactment as the citizen members had “failed to agree on the final copy of the charter successfully.”

In a statement, the SMG said:

“The charter of human rights for Seoul citizens is supposed to be a pact created and enacted by the citizens themselves.

“Unfortunately, working on this charter has been creating more social conflicts. We would like to take more time to listen to a variety of opinions from our citizens on this matter.”

In October, Seoul mayor Park Won-soon became the first mainstream South Korean politician to endorse gay marriage.




NEWS: Silvio Berlusconi Resigns, Republicans Debate, Cats Sell, And The Bombast Of Kylie Minogue

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Road Farewell, Berlusconi! What a long, ridiculous trip it's been!

An impromptu orchestra and choir gathered outside the presidential palace, where Mr. Berlusconi resigned, playing the “Hallelujah” chorus from Handel’s “Messiah.”

Hundreds of spectators gathered outside, shouting “buffoon” and “go home” to a polarizing leader once loved by many, making Mr. Berlusconi the very embodiment of the Italian saying that the tenor is applauded until he is booed off stage. Some in the crowd were popping bottles of champagne. And cars and mopeds in downtown Rome waved Italian flags and honked their horns in celebration, as they do when the national soccer team wins.

... Fulvia Roscini, 47, a nurse, had brought her 8-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter outside the prime minister’s office on Saturday evening. “We came here because I wanted my kids to see this,” she said, “to see that another country is possible and is already here.”

Road The powerful bromance of Silvio Berlusconi and Vladimir Putin.

'Sup, Silvio,
I’m sure you are feeling worse than a dying elk today. And I know that hanging at my birthday party helped cheer you up during that whole mess with the 17-year-old. So I decided to put a little something together for you. It’s a photo gallery of us. I wrote down memories with each photo, like they do on Facebook. I hope it brings you happiness.

Road Speaking of which, does Vladimir Putin remind you of sex? He will.

Road "Ex-gay" academia falls deeper into disrepute.

Road The Times live-blogging of the ramblingest, most disorganized Republican debate yet ...

Road ... which was sponsored, in part, by white nationalists.

Road Bill O'Reilly's book about Lincoln banned from Ford Theatre.

Catvertising Road No doubt about it: Catvertising is the next big thing.

Road Gorgeous! Astounding! "Beat It" played by 15-year-old Korean guitar whizz.

Road These footballers have scannable skulls.

Road Barney's goes Gagadelic.

Road Confession: "But after nearly four decades on earth, I have managed to miss out on one of the most essential components of human nature: romantic love."

Road If you heard the leaked Madonna single, guess what? You're not a true fan.

Road Kylie Minogue to release package of greatest hits with orchestral acompaniment. Live industry preview AFTER THE JUMP! [HT: Oh No They Didn't]

Continue reading "NEWS: Silvio Berlusconi Resigns, Republicans Debate, Cats Sell, And The Bombast Of Kylie Minogue" »


News: Liberal Rally, Archie, Gay Youth, Tyra Banks, Moscow

 road Former "Family Values" Australian MP David Campbell on the sex scandal he was caught in this summer: "People keep asking about (the scandal), but I'm keeping quiet because it's had no influence on my decision (to resign)."

 road Project Runway contestant Mondo Guerra comes out as HIV positive during an episode of the show.

Lm  road Tens of thousands show up at a liberal political rally in front of the Lincolm Memorial. Unlike last month's, this rally is thankfully Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin-free.

 road Great news: A post-Yuri Luzhkov Moscow brings the first gay rights protest to that city in years.

 road CNN fired Rick Sanchez for bigoted statements. No doubt he'll turn up elsewhere soon.

 road Korean mothers take out ad against a show aired on SBS that features a gay storyline: “If my son becomes gay and dies from AIDs after watching ‘Life Is Beautiful’, SBS must take responsibility!”

 road Tom Cruise in disguise as a Russian soldier in Mission: Impossible 4 in Prague.

 road The Archie Comics’ issue of Veronica that features the debut of Kevin Keller sells out - a first for the comic book company.

 road Tyra Banks' head gets webbed. Tyra

 road 500 people remembered Anti-gay bully victim Seth Walsh in California last night.

 road Tyler Clementi's parents speak: "Regardless of legal outcomes, our hope is that our family's personal tragedy will serve as a call for compassion, empathy and human dignity. Needless to say, public attention has been intense. The outpouring of emotion and support from our friends, community and family -- and from people across the country -- has been humbling and deeply moving."

 road 13-year old Asher Brown, who killed himself last week, is laid to rest.

 road Rihanna might soon be a married woman.

 road It looks like Chord Overstreet will not be Chris Colfer’s boyfriend on Glee. That leaves Darren Criss as the likely possibility.


Gay South Korean Actor Found Dead in Apparent Suicide

South Korean actor Kim Ji-hoo took his own life earlier this week, the Korea Times reports.

JihooA note at the scene read: "I'm lonely and in a difficult situation. Please cremate my body."

Kim was 23: "Police said his suicide reflects public prejudice toward gay people and their difficulty in succeeding in the entertainment industry. Following the announcement of his sexual orientation, Kim's management agency did not renew his contract and many TV programs and fashion shows cancelled his appearances. His blog was bombarded with numerous messages denouncing his sexual orientation. 'He underwent many professional and personal difficulties following his coming-out,' Kim's mother said during police questioning."

Gay Actor Found Dead in Apparent Suicide [korea times]


Ghost of the Berlin Wall Reappears

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A new installation has gone up in Berlin adjacent to the Brandenburg Gate. "Vanished Berlin Wall" is an illuminated art piece by Korean Artist Eun Sook Lee that will be up until November 9, the anniversary of the wall's destruction.

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She said that she hopes, in addition to reminding German's of the wall that divided their nation and the world, it will also remind some of the political situation in Korea.

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