Korean Homosexual Union set sail on July 26th
The KHU is an encouraging coalition for sexual minorities in South Korea
Despite the rigidly patriarchal nature of its culture and society, there has been significant and enduring progress in the establishment of human rights norms in Korea. However, homosexuality and all other sex-preferences outside of heterosexuality are still taboo and remain unacknowledged in practicality. Even though the National Human Rights Laws activated in April 2001 declare that "Any discriminations from sex-preference are not allowed", sexual minorities are still struggling against discrimination, unequal and immoral conditions generated by mass media, textbooks, and even dictionaries.
To commemorate the ten-year anniversary of the homosexual human rights movement in Korea, the Korean Homosexual Union (KHU) was established on July 26th 2002 at the Nyutinamoo Cafe in Ankukdong, to search for a new framework for the human rights movement for sexual minorities in South Korea. The Korean Homosexual Union consists of four other organizations including: Safe Zone, a lesbian meeting in Busan and the Kyungnam area, Another Love, an Internet homosexual community for human rights at Hitel, Friendship, a Korean Gay human rights community, and KiriKiri, a Korean women's human rights movement for sexual minority,.
It is obvious that the societal atmosphere for sexual minorities in South Korea is extraordinarily terrible. Without exception, homosexuals who "come out" have been fired from their companies, trans-genders' labour rights have been denied, evidently due to discrimination against their physical appearance, and finally, the underlying family system, enforcing patriarchal marriage and heterosexuality, excludes sexual minorities. Numerous civil organizations working for human rights overlook the human rights issue for sexual minorities.
In such circumstances, the KHU is an encouraging coalition for sexual minorities in South Korea. It is significant that the different organizations forming the KHU share the basic attitude that in a democratic society, differences should not be coupled with discrimination. In this way, the KHU also speaks to the discrimination of children, women, migrant workers, and people with HIV, to try to find solutions together. This assures that the human rights movement for sexual minorities is in the line with all human rights movements in South Korea.
Firstly, the KHU wants to establish relationships with homosexual organizations overseas, in order to create international awareness of the current situation of sexual minorities in South Korea. Also, the KHU will try to create educational programs for civil society in South Korea. Actually, any civil society does not pay much attention on the matter of homosexual communities even though they are working for human rights so the KHU requests them to make an effort to solve human rights violations of sexual minority.
The KHU will publish a weekly or monthly magazine for homosexuality, activate a movement against the Korean government's censorship on sexual minorities and against patriarchal norms and practices. They will also fight for trans-genders' labour rights and fair administrative processes for them. The KHU can be regarded as the first "coming out" on a social scale in South Korea.
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