Annual Review 2016: Human Rights Situation of LGBTI in South Korea

11. Hate Speech

updated 2017.08.09 11:53 by sogilaw

Complaint filed to the NHRCK against the Christian Liberal Party for encouraging discrimination against minorities

On May 24, 2016, 3,195 individuals and 62 organizations field a complaint requesting the investigation of and correction recommendation to the Christian Liberal Party. The Christian Liberal Party was founded on March 3, 2016 by conservative Christians, and during the 20th General Election held in April of the same year, made “anti-homosexuality, anti-Islam, opposition to anti-Christian law(anti-discrimination law)” pledges through election gazettes, speeches, media interviews, etc. The Party claims that “homosexuality causes certain diseases(HIV/AIDS, STDs, etc.)” and describes the anti-discrimination law as an anti-Christian law that bans the teaching of Christian doctrines.[1]

In the 20th General Election, the Christian Liberal Party received 2.64% of the total votes and though they were not able to produce a proportional representative member of the National Assembly, the Party became a political party eligible to receive state subsidies under the Political Funds Act.[2] After the General Election, the Christian Liberal Party launched the “10 Million Signature Campaign for Korean Churches” to oppose homosexuality, Islam, and an anti-discrimination law.[3] In response, the Rainbow Action Against Sexual Minority Discrimination and Action for the Elimination of Discrimination against Migrant Workers and Realization of Human Rights and Labor Rights gathered complainants to file a complaint to the NHRCK against the Christian Liberal Party for incitement to hatred against sexual minorities, Muslims, and migrants. The complainants argued that this goes against articles 10(human worth and dignity), 11(equality), 17(privacy), and 20(freedom of religion) of the Constitution of the Republic of Korea, and that the government has the obligation to prevent incitement to discrimination on grounds of race, religion, and sexual orientation, as stipulated in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD). Accordingly, the complainants asserted that the actions of the Christian Liberal Party constituted a “discriminatory act violating the equal right” and requested the NHRCK to conduct an investigation.[4]

Hate speech and incitement to discrimination by politicians

On February 29, 2016, the “Parliamentary Prayer Meeting Inviting Delegates from Three Parties to Set Right the Country and Church”, hosted by the Save Korea and Love for Our Country Movement Headquarters (Pastor Lee Young-hoon, Representative) and organized by the Set Right Korea and Love for Our Country Movement Headquarters (Pastor Jeon Gwanghoon, Representative), was held at the National Assembly Member’s Office. Kim Moo-sung, Delegate of the Saenuri Party, and Park Young-sun, Member of the Democratic Party of Korea’s Emergency Planning Committee, participated in the event and each delivered a speech. Kim said, “regarding the issues you consider important in setting right this country, such as the anti-discrimination law, homosexuality legislation, and human rights related laws, the party will set its policies according to your wishes”, and Park stated, “the homosexuality legislation goes against the laws of nature and of God”, and “We are against the anti-discrimination law, homosexuality legislation, and human rights related laws. Who would agree with this?”[5] In response, human rights and civil society organization including the Rainbow Action Against Sexual Minority Discrimination held a press conference on March 3, 2016 in front of the National Assembly to criticize the two MPs for sympathizing with and inciting discrimination and hate towards sexual minorities.[6]

Moreover, during the parliamentary inspection of the Ministry of Health and Welfare and Center for Disease Control on September 26, 2016, MP Kim Sang-hoon, the National Assembly Health and Welfare Committee’s Saenuri Party secretary, made a statement that claimed homosexuality was the cause of HIV/AIDS. Kim said there has been a sharp increase in HIV/AIDS patients in the country, and asserted that “the main cause seems to be homosexuality among young men and that it is necessary to emphasize that the route of infection is primarily young homosexuals”. He also pointed out that the Center for Disease Control’s lack of clear indication on such infection paths is a serious problem. Furthermore, Kim said, “the number of HIV/AIDS patients will spin out of control if young homosexuals turn into heterosexuals or bisexuals”, and requested strengthened measures for the “sharp increase in HIV/AIDS patients due to anal intercourse”.[7]

[1] “‘Christian Liberal Party discriminates against minorities, unconstitutional organization’ over 3,200 people file complaint to National Human Rights Commission”, BeMinor, 5/24/2016
[2] Article 189 of Public Official Election Act, Article 27-2 of Political Funds Act
[3] Christian Liberal Party’s website front page and main policies (Retrieved on 3/29/2017)
[4] “We are recruiting complainants for a complaint to the National Human Rights Commission against the discrimination and hate spreading Christian Liberal Party!”, Rainbow Action against Sexual-Minority Discrimination (Retrieved on 3/29/2017)
[5] “Kim Moo-sung, Park Young-sun ‘anti-homosexuality’ statement on tape … Two party representatives declare surrender”, The Kyunghyang Shinmun, 3/4/2016
[6] “LGBTI organizations criticize Kim Moo-sung, Park Young-sun for hate speech”, OhmyNews, 3/3/2016
[7] Proceedings of the Health and Welfare Committee in the 2016 parliamentary inspection, 9/26/2016