Let’s face it. The public attitude toward homosexuality in the United States and Europe has changed dramatically in just the past year or two, evidenced by many American politicians famously “evolving” on the issue and, on Friday, the U.S. Surpreme Court ruling same sex marriage is a protected right.
The attitude of South Koreans is changing, too. Nowhere is that more evident than in the rapidly increasing popularity of an annual fete celebrating the LGBT community here, the Korea Queer Culture Festival (KQCF).
Kang Myung-jin, the principle organizer behind Korea’s queer festival, told the Korea Observer in an interview with him a few weeks ago that when the festival started 15 years ago just 50 people showed up. The festival didn’t really catch on until a couple of years ago. In 2012, several thousand people showed up in Hongdae for the KQCF.
But that is also when conservative Christian groups took notice — and they were scared. Last year when 20,000 people converged for the KQCF’s pride parade at the university district of Shinchon, hundreds of hardcore conservative Christians went as well hell bent to stop them.
This year’s pride parade will likely just up the ante. South Korea’s gay pride organizers won a court battle against the Christians and the police on June 16. The Seoul Administrative Court overturned an order by police preventing the parade from progressing.
Police cited traffic disruption and public safety concerns as the reasons behind its ban. But the court said that is not a good enough justification for restricting the right to hold a public event.
“Assemblies can be prohibited only when they directly threaten public order,” the court said in its official statement. Korean gays and lesbians weren’t a “threat,” the court said.
But why are conservative Christians here so fixated on stopping Korean society from accepting gays and lesbians openly and as regular people?
As planned, the KQCF will start its parade today from the iconic Seoul Square in front of City Hall, and cap off the weeks-long Korea queer festival. KQCF is the second largest LGBT pride event in Asia. (Taiwan’s is the largest.) And like last year, hundreds and hundreds of conservative Christians will show up determined to stop the parade. What is motivating them?
The Korea Observer talked with Rev. Kim Kyu-ho, secretary general of the Counter-measures Committee on Homosexual Issues, a conservative Christian organization focused on stopping what people it considers “diseased,” “immoral” and “dangerous to society in general.
Korea Observer: People say it is a cultural festival and they say they are trying express cultural diversity. They believe that Christian groups are unfairly opposing them, and not respecting that diversity. Why are you trying to stop them?
Rev. Kim Kyu-ho: Homosexuality is a type of addiction. Homosexuals do not accept this, but former homosexuals say that it is in fact an addiction. We have to help them get out of the addiction as soon as possible.
Life as a homosexual is hard and painful and heart breaking and it is not a happy life to lead. They become a slave to their addiction when they are young and they cannot stop the physical pleasure that comes from the addiction.
In the beginning they think homosexuality is good but, as they grow old and their physical virility decreases and, in terms of life, they do not get to enjoy what normal people get to enjoy, such as family life and marriage, they realize what a mistake they made but then it is too late. More than 90% of them will suffer from various sexual transmitted diseases, the worse of them AIDS.
Most of them perform anal sex which destroys the anus. Even sneezing could cause them to lose control of their bowels. They cannot live a normal life. They become anti-social, and as they grow old, they become undesirable by other homosexuals and then they are abandoned by them.
And they are, of course, rejected by their family members and by society. So, some of them commit suicide. But homosexuals do not consider these facts. They think it is just beautiful love, but it is not; it’s an addiction.
The first thing we have to do is help them escape from homosexuality. This is what we have to do. But the Korea Queer Culture Festival is a distorted movement that forces them to live as homosexuals forever. They do not inform people about the negative aspects and, instead, tell them only the good things.
By doing that, they are providing distorted information to the public. Young people are especially vulnerable to homosexuality. They are already getting addicted to homosexuality! Anyone can learn homosexuality. It is not innate. Anyone could get addicted to it if they are exposed to it.
The second reason (we have to stop them), it is immoral and it is a corrupt Western cultural import. This kind of immoral Western value is being transplanted to Asia. At this event, the embassies of 13 countries from around the world are setting up booths in support of the homosexuals. This is an example of them trying to invade Asian culture, and transplant their corrupt values here.
You asked why we became so opposed recently, in the past couple of years.
The reason is — who would complain if they kept their event private? In the past they kept it small and quiet, but now it has grown too large and has gotten too much attention.
In an open space and where anyone can see them, parents, youths and even children, they perform obscene acts, dances, and performances. These acts damage efforts to keep Korean culture pure and untainted. It damages the public good.
Last year, I was at the festival that took place in Shinchon. It was so obscene it had all kinds of sex toys on display, porno videos, it exhibited obscene messages at booths. Some of them were so obscene that I cannot repeat what I saw now. They even said: “I love sex,” out loud and in public.
Young people were interested, but this should have been rate R. Shinchon is a place where many youths go. So, they should not have allowed this event to take place there. I cannot help but oppose these kinds of events.
KO: Do you thinks homosexuality is something that people can catch and be infected by?
Kim Kyu-ho: Of course! Homosexuality is something that people get exposed to and that is why young people can get addicted to it. I did not know how it works either. There is a guy who was gay for over 40 years. Then he found Jesus and studied theology. It was then that he could escape from a life as a homosexual. Now he is a pastor, Rev. Lee Yo-na.
He’s the first person to open a gay bar in South Korea. The establishment was in Itaewon. People in the gay community call him, “the godfather of homosexuality in Korea.”
But now he is not gay. He delivers testimony about the evils of homosexuality. Other former homosexuals work with him to stop the spread of homosexuality. According to what former homosexuals say, if homosexuality is innate and natural, then how could they have escaped from a life of homosexuality. They say that they are proof that homosexuality is learned and not innate. There are many such people all over the world. I am organizing a group called, “the International Alliance of Former Homosexuals.” Former homosexuals from all over the world will be invited to South Korea. What about them?
Homosexuals cannot explain this; they have no answer to this. They say former homosexuals were not really gay in the first place or that they are some kind of mutants, but I say homosexuality is an addiction. I asked the former homosexuals, and they told me that when they had anal sex, they had an orgasm just like women do.
But homosexuals do not talk about this secret. They do not talk about why they love to have anal sex. This is the real reason. What’s more, homosexuality without anal sex is not love. It is friendship. This is what former homosexuals say, yes, homosexuality without anal sex is not love. It is just friendship.
However homosexuals do not talk about the secret of anal sex, they just say it is a beautiful love. This idea is a distortion. So, if we do not stop homosexuality, this corrupt Western cultural import, will spread throughout Korea. The West is flooded with corrupt sexual practices, such as swapping sexual partners, and bestiality. In the Netherlands, bestiality is now legal. There are places where you can pay to have sex with dogs. In other parts of Europe, people support incest.
They are asking the public to support incest, and marriage between a father and a son, they are asking for sexual anarchy. These are corrupt sexual practices from the U.S. and from Europe. The start of all these corrupt practices is homosexuality. Once homosexuality comes to Korea, all other corrupt and immoral sexual practices will follow.
Homosexuals do not talk about this either. They only talk about their human rights. Again and again, who would oppose them if they kept quiet about it? Has Korea suppressed them, or imprisoned them, have people beat them up for being gay?
Korea does not suppress their human rights, Korea does not hate them. The only reason we oppose them is because they come out in the open. Who would say anything if they just had their own private sex party? Why do they have to come out in the open?
KO: Some church leaders say homosexuality is wrong because the bible says so, do you…
Kim Kyu-ho: (Interrupts before a question can be asked) I am a pastor and in the bible homosexuality is described as a very serious sin.
Before, I did not know either. It was just sex, but between two men. I did not understand why God prohibited homosexuality. I just accepted it because the bible said so. However after talking with former homosexuals, and listening to their testimonies, I have found that homosexuality destroys the human soul, and sexually enslaves people.
A homosexual has an average of 1,000 sex partners in his lifetime. Hong Seok-cheon once said he had 400 different sex partners during his high school years alone. As soon as a homosexual sees a butt, he basically has sex with it. That is what homosexual culture is all about. It destroys the body physically, for example, by making the man incontinent or by contracting syphilis. They contract all the bad STDs. It is a very miserable life living as a homosexual but, no, the gays never tell you that.
I believe the reason the bible prohibits homosexuality is because of the physical and spiritual damage it causes. I am sure the bible offers the right life to lead.
You have to hear the testimonies of these former homosexuals, and people have to be objective, and hear not just homosexuals but also these former homosexuals, in order to hear both sides of the story. We need a process of verifying whose claims are correct scientifically. The government has to stop homosexuality from spreading.
You know how people tell you to moderate bad behavior, such as smoking, drinking, gambling and playing computer games.
Why? Because they are risky and dangerous. You should think about homosexuality in the same way. Seventy percent of homosexuals have AIDS. I don’t remember the exact stat, but over half of people with AIDS got it from gay sex. We have to be mindful of how dangerous it is for this parade to be spreading such risky behavior. It has to be stopped.