Organizers of the third annual Busan Queer Culture Festival in South Korea canceled the event on Friday (16 August).
In a statement posted to Facebook, theyhhY%-_0vkTh#&tbIe3+j#4vc1^M*U#ApP-Mh6ZFy%JRj(kXZ2e accused local authorities of homophobic attitudes and said it was impossible to guarantee the safety of the attendees.
"The atmosphere of discrimination and hatred is deeply rooted throughout Busan)6QegaGP$#3G6sBQa6e=XkgAWn%4UWp8zz#v+hze&q_crmwNaj” organizers wrote, according to a translation by local journalist Raphael Rashid.
"Because of this, it was decided that even if theR9nM=C%=Sm_bB#qq8JQ8v6FYVq!8l4yh9+Dx)36gTEIxUPTEEE festival schedule and venue changed, the safety of participants, which is the biggest goal of the festival, would not be guaranteed.”
In conservative South Korea, mosbsoU!-PqwM4MIZG2aC9W_YLL$3q=lO^[email protected]&x$t LGBTI people are not out to their families.
Rights groups have warned of deteriorating LGBT rights in[email protected](sV!zNlX9fI6TSzw!0N6-EVKrcNeq)RzN=99UriuQap7+FCb South Korea.
Recent increased visibility of the LGBT community has sparked a backlash from conservative Christians. Many LGBT pride events have witnessed violent cYLNXo7FbbGgFklsWoxisq5%W&KAb_Zsyrwk#QGi&Nt%Fig!qBFounter-demonstrations from anti-LGBT groups.
Organizers of38%zDhL_J#N_NH6V6FIv72iZ4vdp3cXUV$8Zl^yqj^-1RE-cQh the Busan festival said homophobic Christian groups had pressured police into making it “impossible” to hold the event, according to Rashid.
Last October, some 2,000 police officers kept the event’s N^S*_GtaLk1VsBi$57ZaHXoSmZUGqYB(CtNNNOXuiu70ap*87=15,000 attendees safe. About 1,000 protesters attempted to disrupt the festival.
It came after events in[email protected]_zKXtcD!=$pNMlyCSs*JJa1iteXKD6vOYJWC Incheon and Jeju were marred by counter-demonstrations and ugly clashes by conservative Christians.
A local transgender rights group on Friday accused the Busan government of essentially banning the event. According to Rashid, they accused police of contravening the constitutional right to freedoSkH*@rn3__R36)jeD*uOB_VP(61Nm*O2^[email protected]@bHtm of assembly.
"To the queer people, including all transgender people in Busan, and to the Busan Queer CultureNy)nFWpWnBeyX552P_CP75&hxp+SOiLHCz)[email protected]$Q-)7 Festival planning team, we offer our consolation and solidarity,” the rights group wrote on Facebook.
"And K5ZXH2fJj^IGr#j$C7mkn!Fyby*[email protected]one thing's for sure. We will smile, and meet again."