In an interview with The San Francisco Examiner on Sunday, Seoul mayor Park Won-soon became the first mainstream South Korean politician to endorse gay marriage.
The paper reports:
"I personally agree with the rights of homosexuals," Park said. "But the Protestant churches are very powerful in Korea. It isn't easy for politicians. It's in the hands of activists to expand the universal concept of human rights to include homosexuals. Once they persuade the people, the politicians will follow. It's in process now."
I asked him if Taiwan might be the first Asian country to allow same-sex marriage since the Taiwanese legislature is considering a bill to legalize it.
"I hope Korea will be the first," Park said. "Many homosexual couples in Korea are already together. They are not legally accepted yet, but I believe the Korean Constitution allows it. We are guaranteed the right to the pursuit of happiness. Of course, there may be different interpretations to what that pursuit means."
Park is considered a top contender for president in 2017.