Last Friday the US Supreme Court made a ruling that signalled the end of a long battle for gay rights, making same-sex marriage a right throughout the country.
Over the weekend, all around the world, Pride marches celebrated the US ruling, sending strong messages to policy- and law makers across the globe about the hunger and demand for similar rights in many other countries. And while the news was greeted with joy by many, it also sparked fierce waves of opposition and resistance; proving that not even the world’s last remaining superpower can help solve what has been an intractable policy challenge for many decades.
Mariam Koslay was in Seoul, South Korea, where Christian anti-gay advocates clashed with Pride marchers, and put together this exclusive photo gallery for Policy Forum.
As Lady Gaga’s songs filled the streets of central Seoul and the sun beat down on the faces of enthusiastic supporters it was easy to forget that South Korea, one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world, is a country still struggling to completely accept the active presence of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community.
The aggressive chants of Korean Cristian supporters and the multitude of offensive billboards did little to dampen spirits as the US Supreme Court’s recent historic decision allowing same-sex couples to wed nationwide was celebrated.
With many expecting the parade to be interrupted by opposing protestors like last year, this year’s event, although tinged with confrontation and hatred, was an inspiring and emotional day.
A make up artist applies lipstick on a woman who is wearing a traditional Korean dress.
Christian supporters chant with an enthusiastic spokesperson while police barricade the area preventing those who wish to join the Gay Pride Festival across the street.
Hundreds dance on the streets to Pharell’s ‘Happy’ as the parade slowly comes to an end.
Two police officers stand outside a booth for protection.
Police refuse entry to a man who is attempting to join the parade.
A man waves a rainbow flag over the barricade which separated the pro and anti LGBT supporters.
Musicians play in the middle of the square.
Performers on moving vehicles spray confetti in the air at cheering supporters.
Hundreds hit the city centre to begin the 2015 Seoul Gay Pride Parade.
A priest from the Open Doors Metropolitan Community Church holds one end of the banner as he and fellow volunteers march through the streets.
A group of supporters sign their names on a large rainbow flag to show support for LGBT equal rights.
A young boy kneels on the floor, arms raised, as aggressive chants are screamed across the barricade.
A young girl, with her mother, waits for the live performances on stage to begin as she eats a lollipop. Image by Mariam Koslay.