Seoul mayor agrees to meet with LGBT protesters
Seoul’s mayor, Park Won-soon, has agreed to meet with LGBT activists who have been occupying the ground floor of city hall for five days in protest of his refusal to pass a charter protecting LGBT rights. On their Facebook page, members of Rainbow Action say that the mayor agreed to meet with them Dec 17 but that they will continue their occupation for now. “We’ve made a historical scene with our voices and direct actions,” they say. “We are very proud of everyone who made success together.” Park buckled to pressure from Korean Christian and conservative groups to drop the charter.
Village People policeman records song about Ebola
At least it’s for a good cause. Village People lead singer and “policeman” Victor Willis has released a single from his new album, and it’s about the Ebola epidemic. Willis says he will donate royalties from the song to treating and finding a cure for Ebola. Unfortunately, “Save the People (Save the World),” featuring Willis’s wife on vocals, is no “Macho Man.”
Protesters hold kiss-in at Madrid Burger King after couple ejected
After a gay couple in a Burger King in Madrid, Spain, were asked to leave by a security guard for kissing, protesters gathered for a mass kiss-in. The two men were told to leave after a patron complained about them kissing in front of his children. The restaurant’s manager later said the security guard was out of line, and he and other Burger King employees applauded the protesters as they kissed.
Trouble in Finland after gay marriage vote
Although the Finnish parliament voted to legalize gay marriage in November, opponents are not going down without a fight. Interior Minister Paivi Rasanen says she will challenge the law in the next parliament and accused Finland’s prime minister of unfairly influencing the vote by declaring his support for gay marriage. Thousands of Finnish Lutherans have also split from their church after their archbishop supported the new law.
One in five US hate crimes against gay or bi people
The FBI’s annual hate-crime report shows that approximately 20 percent of reported hate crimes in the US were motivated by sexual orientation. The report counts hate crimes motivated by a single bias. About half of hate crimes were motivated by race, and 17 percent were based on religion. For the first time, the FBI began to track hate crimes against trans or gender-nonconforming people, but those made up only 0.5 percent of the total.
Japanese temple offers gay weddings
Gay marriage may not be legal, officially, in Japan, but the 400-year-old Shunkōin Buddhist temple is now advertising wedding services for couples of all sexual orientations. “Shunkōin Temple is against any forms of ‘Human Rights Violations’ in the world,” their website reads. “No religion teaches how to hate others.”
Photo Credit: Rainbow Action