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30 May 2016

Film director's same sex marriage case rejected by South Korean court

Prominent film director Kim Jho Gwang-So bid for legal status for their relationship is the first such action in South Korea

Movie director Kim Jho Gwang-soo and his long-time partner Kim Seung-hwan are the most high-profile gay couple in South Korea.

The pair held a wedding ceremony in Seoul in September 2013 and submitted their marriage registration form to their local authority, but it was rejected.

In July last year, the couple challenged the decision with a lawsuit—the first of its kind in the country.

However, on Wednesday the Seoul western district court sided with the local authority and rejected the challenge.

"Circumstances have changed concerning marriage ... but unless there is separate legislation, a same sex union cannot be recognised as marriage under the existing legal system", the  court said in a statement.

"Related laws, including the constitution and civil law, are premised on the notion of a conjugal bond meaning a union involving different sexes," it said.

The couple's lawyer, Ryu Min-Hee, admitted that the likelihood of a district court ruling in their favour was very low and said "We're disappointed but we're not done yet," according to AFP.

"We regret the court decision ... but we did see it coming," Kim Seung-Hwan said.  The couple intended to appeal the ruling.

Homosexuality is legal in South Korea but the the country remains deeply conservative and same-sex marriage is not recognised.

Reader's Comments

1. 2016-05-30 04:39  
Take your head out of the sand and admit the reality , gay people contribute to the society as much as straight sometime more ,pay attention in your country who bring in more tax $$$$$
2. 2016-05-30 16:08  
Lol gomasita, so it's ok for equality to be bought?

These two are wasting their money (although it's a great investment for the director's pr) and should be campaigning for same sex marriage for all. Change the law and you can get married, otherwise it's just a wedding. Nothing wrong with that of course.

3. 2016-05-31 06:52  
Yes, the South Korean government and culture is ignorant -they only want to believe there are such things as heterosexuals in their society.

4. 2016-06-01 19:59  
Rememeber all Asians have to save face about those matters its inbred in them so i don't know if that will ever change!
5. 2016-06-07 10:07  
sad stoy

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