Seoul Court Overturns Police Ban on LGBTQ Pride Parade


by REERA YOO | @reeraboo

A Seoul court on Tuesday overturned a police ban that prohibited the Korea Queer Cultural Festival (KQCF) from staging its annual LGBTQ pride parade.

Last month, KQCF attempted to register its 2015 pride parade with the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency. Seoul police, however, rejected the festival committee’s application after anti-LGBTQ groups booked the same public venue, according to the Korea Observer.

KQCF subsequently tried to register the parade through the Namdaemun Police Station, which announced that it would accept applications for events scheduled to be held on June 28 (the date of the pride parade) on a first-come, first-served basis. This led to LGBTQ activists and non-affirming Christian groups to camp outside the police station eight days ahead of the registration deadline.

On May 30, less than 24 hours after KQCF organizers submitted its application for the parade, the Namdaemun police banned both LGBTQ advocates and opponents from holding outdoor rallies on June 28, claiming that they would disrupt public order and cause vehicle and pedestrian traffic.

According to E-Daily, the KQCF committee requested the Seoul Administrative Court to lift the ban, arguing that the police’s reasoning for it was invalid. On June 16, Judge Ban Jeong-woo of the court’s 13th division sided with the LGBTQ festival and overturned the ban, stressing the importance of the freedom of assembly. He added that while police have the authority to ban outdoor rallies when there is a direct threat to public safety, this measure should only be used as a last resort when all other options of ensuring peace and order have been exhausted.

“The decision of the court this time is significant considering that the police unfairly banned the outdoor rally,” said Judge Ban. “This also means that it should be guaranteed for sexual minorities to speak up toward society as a member of civil society in democratic country.”

KQCF announced in a statement that the 2015 pride parade will be held at Seoul Plaza on June 28, as originally planned. The 16th annual KQCF successfully held its opening ceremony last week at Seoul City Hall Square, despite protests from opposing Christian groups and the rising tally of MERS patients.

See Also


Seoul Police Reject Application for LGBT Parade

Korean LGBTQ Festival Kicks Off Despite Protests and MERS

Study: South Koreans Becoming More Open-Minded About LGBT Issues


Featured image via KQCF

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