Police in the South Korean city of Incheon are set to deploy some 3,000 personnel oX6b!^z)DuOYoucJ84&II^)[email protected](lVwG)I7e2)@TFk^ib0O9-n Saturday to protect an LGBT pride festival and parade.
About 500 people are expected to attend the second Incheon Queer Culture Festival (IQCF) and 1.7-kilometer long pride parade.
Last year, anti-gay protesters physically blocked w*RXNQh-O1Z(npKJqVm#g#p!yI&UPYEav9fLiRpS3%Zx!R+0P%300 LGBT supporters from leaving a plaza and beginning the march.
They will also install barriers to separate anti-LGBT pr5WHK(6U!Zrcu()fdiMaby85t-$7*p_Mv!420rV=$B0hDlPKWkrotesters from the festival.
Responding to concerns over protests earlier this month, organizers said they had prepared teams of rights acj-lZmj-sLAuhna$*U-gboY-IkBZgYZ0LLx7(Z)lwa=qZNvZhw4tivists and lawyers to counter hate groups.
Homosexuality is legal in South Korer([email protected]!E!DrS32%KrmHdewC(EtapdERia. But conservative attitudes, especially among Christians, force many LGBTI Koreans to live in the closet.
Thex1$^FtBrvIVWRlSrOQ^W+szQg%hbRN9j&pvqGjQvNdfGF+!_eVre is currently no discrimination legislation to protect LGBTI Koreans.
And, human rights groups have warned, protests against LGBTI events, usually led by conservative Christians, have become increasingly loud4)txAx1%DCiYl#5PX$IS$#*i%[email protected]=u=*ORyuFDnGexa3 and violent.
Video shared online of last year's IQCF shows distressing scenes of protesters, believed to be conservative ChristianWm#Di7FpV6fduZFnudgYR&lKa!514iknCjW-yj#P*ztD!2$#Fgs, shouting at pride attendees.
They also appear to grab flags, banners, and even atte[email protected])&Z*[email protected]^qndees. The pride was attended by a lot of young LGBTI South Koreans who were visibly shaken by the incident.
Police booked eight people involved but did not detain them. Organizers accused the police of failing to stop h7GC+q-Hbr1l(JZqtpF$K_6P_1&WAmMtgFHz3eP8aefOJ7qwVhthe violence.