A group of South Korean gay rights activists were apprehended Wednesday while staging a protest at the National Assembly against presidential front-runner Moon Jae-in over his remarks against homosexuality.
A total of 13 people were taken to police stations for investigation after they tried to approach Moon, demanded his apology and chanted slogans while the candidate of the liberal Democratic Party of Korea was addressing his supporters on a podium.
Protesters hold a surprise demonstration in front of presidential front-runner Moon Jae-in at the National Assembly in Seoul on April 26, 2017, over his remarks against sexual minorities during a TV debate the previous night. (Yonhap)
During a televised debate a day earlier, Moon expressed his opposition to homosexuality and the legalization of it when asked by candidate Hong Joon-pyo of the far-right Liberty Korea Party.
“I oppose it. I don’t like it. But I oppose discrimination (against homosexuals),” he said.
Moon had not made clear his stance on homosexuality earlier.
During the protest, an activist was heard saying, “Apologize for hate speech against sexual minorities!”
Others were heard said, “Is homosexuality illegal? It is not a thing that can be legal or illegal!” and “You can despise acts, but you cannot despise a being. Homosexuality is a being! You are saying you don’t see me as a human being.”
The protestors clashed with Moon’s security guards, who were seen attempting to take away their rainbow-colored flags, a symbol of equal rights for sexual minorities.
Under the Demonstration and Assembly Act, rallies are prohibited within 100 meters of the nation’s key facilities including the National Assembly.
Moon did not answer to any questions from reporters on the matter as he left the scene.
Moon’s camp said he had asked the police not to punish the protestors.
By Ock Hyun-ju (firstname.lastname@example.org)