Various events for sexual minorities as well as anti-gay rallies are scheduled for this weekend in Seoul.
Advocates of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights plan to hold the Seoul Queer Culture Festival from 11 a.m. on Saturday at Seoul Plaza.
Protestant groups are set to hold a rally against the parade at a nearby location, prompting police to prepare to keep the groups separate.
The Seoul Queer Parade, which began with about 50 people in 2000, has grown into a large event in which an estimated 50,000 people participated in the rain last year.
With no rain expected this Saturday, organizers expect more people to take part in the parade.
Participants of the Korea Queer Culture Festival march along Sejong-daero Road between Seoul City Hall and Gwanghwamun Square on July 15, 2017. (Yonhap)
About 10 embassies including the US Embassy will join the event, along with the organizing committees of queer culture festivals in Busan, Daegu and Jeju.
The National Human Rights Commission of Korea, which was the first government organization to participate last year, will open a booth this year as well.
The social and labor affairs committee of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism, the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, the women’s committee of the Korean Teachers and Education Workers Union and the minorities’ rights committee of the Lawyers for a Democratic Society are also on the list of participants this year.
The queer parade will open with a 50-meter-wide rainbow flag and a group of motorbike riders called “Rainbow Riders.”
A dress made of the flags of 80 countries that persecute sexual minorities called the “Amsterdam Rainbow Dress” will be displayed at Seoul Plaza for the first time in Asia.
More than 200,000 Koreans have signed an online petition asking the presidential office to prohibit the upcoming queer parade. At least two anti-LGBT rallies are scheduled on the same day nearby the same location.
By Kim So-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org