Director Kim Jho Kwang-Soo (left) and his partner Kim Seung-Hwan.
Photo: Yonhap News Agency via XinMSN
Hundreds in Seoul attended the marriage ceremony of the country's best-known gay couple, film director Kim Jho Gwang-soo and his partner of nine years Kim Seung-hwan on Saturday, according to media reports.
The couple say they plan to formally apply to get their marriage legally recognised after the ceremony but regardless of their legal status, they want to be regarded as a "married couple". If the registry is denied, the couple said they will take their case to the constitutional court.
"Now people cannot but call us as a married couple as we have had a wedding," Kim, 49, was said to have told a news conference, reported Reuters. "It is important whether or not we become a legally bound couple. But more importantly, we want to let people know that gays can marry too in our society."
"Same sex marriage is not something shocking in many other countries. I hope South Korea will also join them in the near future", he added. Same-sex marriage is currently not legally recognised in Korea.
Photo of the couple on their fundraising campaign site.
The couple said they would use the traditional wedding money gifts
they received to launch a centre for LGBT issues and
have set up a fundraising initiative on socialfunch.org.
A recent attempt by South Korean lawmakers to propose an anti-discrimination law that would prohibit discrimination based on based on religion, political ideology, or sexual orientation floundered due to opposition by conservative Christian legislators. Christians make up about a third of the country's population of 50 million people.
The couple's ceremony was disrupted briefly when an unidentified man rushed onto the stage and tossed food onto members of the choir. Korea's Yonhap news agency later identified the man as an elder in a Christian church. He was detained by police.
The AFP reported that hours before the ceremony, a handful of Christians had briefly occupied the site in an attempt to stop the marriage ceremony by engaging in shoving matches with the couple's supporters.
The two-hour ceremony eventually took place next to the Cheonggye Stream in downtown Seoul and was open to the public, with hundreds of people offering congratulations and support.
The couple said they would use the traditional wedding money gifts they received to launch a centre for LGBT issues and have set up a fundraising initiative on socialfunch.org.