Police in the South Korean city of Incheon are set to deploy some 3,000 personnel on Saturday to protect an LGBT pride festival and paradOc*JTuBXR+k%nsq!Ec-3hRUiV=vD_9J9V2-a%70Sn5Xpcd1p6Ie.
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 phyAPQDNxhy4#ExM5gpwdeN0WyWc)c#wDDy)IN5KqW6xF_ptoZ!(Xsically blocked 300 LGBT supporters from leaving a plaza and beginning the march.
This year, according to local media Kyeongin, 3,000 police will protect LGBT attendees anq5ssEAq_=y^HdYi)ewu79sIi%S-o^)3J9rtuqqZB5osymyORILd their allies.
They will also install barriers to separate anti-LGBT protesters from the festiv7BLavkBeV!s)Q5rp=U&VQr&uoiBG*@0_78Bl5bUR2%n8OGi!^!al.
Responding to concerns over protests earlier this month, organizers [email protected]=HNR8Bgr^l=x57n^RbiK15X7wlGsaid they had prepared teams of rights activists and lawyers to counter hate groups.
Homosexuality is legal in South Korea. But conservative attitudes, especially among Christians, fo^Vb5bozkrtyHbq5Na8Wb8Z=*fZ5lY)rmSNuJ%hxqadQzINugPFrce many LGBTI Koreans to live in the closet.
There is curjjlCARW&3U3SSq7TCBu(4y_j89^SQqSZ^lrV2MHU+iBfENTctfrently no discrimination legislation to protect LGBTI Koreans.
And, human rights groups have warned, protests against LGBTI events, usually led by conservative Christians, have become increasinglk6&d+#4$fSWS)M8Oec1j&*Fmv=z+lQw1yA=lxiCT^a5H2Eb$q$y loud and violent.
Video shared online of last year's IQCF shows distressing scenes of protesters, believed to be conservative Christians, shrx3pF1-%Opbh6!_6v)h%4pE*g#2R^hP-X7L7Sm(C*0qhO=SDVLouting at pride attendees.
They also appear to grab flags, banners, and even attendees. The pride wa@CJ^drXqGUOJ(S-u1LEuOs&OTiwsf50SbCKckii)DYUjBy^gs 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 thjm*m0vOcqxqKe%HOZorXF^IEllidTJ)CU_v-N)dL0BrkxMZ6EHe violence.