Last May, Lee Gye Deok petitioned for an ad to be posted on Gyodae Station’s electronic banners that said “Anyone amongst Seoul’s citizens may be a sexual minority. All citizens have the right to not be discriminated against their sexual orientation.” He paid for it with 3 million won out of his own pocket. Nothing harmful in asking for people to be aware basic human rights, right? Well, the government employees at Seocho-gu Office didn’t agree. They refused siting reasons that it “feared it could obstruct the protection of our youth and it was an offense against public morals.”
The Human Rights Committee criticized Seocho-gu Office for forbidding the ad, saying it was “discrimination without reason” and advised them to “find a way to prevent that ads are not refused just because the subject matter is about homosexuality or other sexual orientations.” They revealed that “Even if a few members of society who hold hatred and prejudices against homosexuality send in complaints about an ad about gay awareness, the national and regional government has an obligation to protect and form a social consensus so that social minorities do not become the target of unfair discrimination and oppression.”
When was discrimination and oppression ever fair? For those who might be interested, Seocho-gu has always voted for the Saenuri Party in every single election. It just goes to show how much they are obsessed with keeping the status quo. These are basic human rights. The ad wasn’t advocating same-sex marriage. It didn’t ask for any more legal rights than already provided for by the Constitution as a citizen of this nation. All it asked was to treat others as decent human beings. And it was considered “an offence against public morals.” What, do you think becoming a decent human being is dangerous to young people? That becoming a bigot is the way to go?
On a slightly better note, ten other district offices such as Eunpyoung, Yongsan, Gwangjin, Geumcheon, Joonggu, Jongro allowed the ad. Not surprisingly the Korean Christian Alliance were up in arms.
*edit: the 3 million won Lee paid was not just for the ad at Gyodae Station but for all the ads in Seoul.