A Decision, and a Prayer

A decision came from a court in Seoul yesterday. It has overturned the decision of Seoul Metropolitan Police to ban the KQCF Pride Parade in Seoul on June 28th. This is great news for the LGBT+ community, but there is no doubt that anti-LGBT+ groups will seek other ways to voice their displeasure with the LGBT+ community.

I’ve provided a rough translation of the news article I saw from E-Daily News last night, and a prayer I’ve composed which seeks to address what I, and possibly other people, are thinking and feeling right now.

Court: The ‘legitimate Pride Parade’ will take place on the 28th at Seoul Plaza

  • Ruled to suspend ban on outdoor rallies
  • Will proceed as scheduled at Seoul Plaza on 28th
  • KQCF organizers: ‘The voices of sexual minorities will be heard’

Picture Caption: The key event of the Korea Queer Culture Festival, the Pride Parade, will be held legally on the 28th. Photo from the 2013 Pride Parade. (Photo: KQCF Organizing Committee)

(E-Daily Reporter Kim Yong-Woon) The coming Pride Parade will be held on June 28th at Seoul Plaza.

On the 16th, the KQCF Oeganizing Committee announced, ‘The 13th District of the Seoul Administrative Court (Judge Ban Jeong-Woo presiding) notified the Commissioner of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency that the decision to ban outdoor rallies – in effect, to ban the KQCF Pride Parade – was overturned’. They also said, ‘The main event of the KQCF, the Pride Parade on the 28th, is able to legally proceed.’

Since 2000, the KQCF has been held annually; this year, sexual minorities were planning to gather in Seoul Plaza for the festival parade. However, since the Seoul Metropolitan Police Commissioner issued the order banning outdoor rallies, festival organizers applied to the court two days ago to overturn the ban.

The Court said, ‘The order prohibiting public rallies may be permitted only if there is a direct threat to public order’. It also said, ‘The ban on rallies is to be applied only after all other possibilities of less restrictive conditions for the freedom of assembly have been exhausted.’

Kang Myeong-jin, head of the KQCF Organizing Committee, said, ‘The Court’s decision, noting the poilce’s notice of the unfair prohibition of reported rallies, guarantees the ability of sexual minorities to voice their opinions concerning society as members of civil society in a democratic state…The KQCF should welcome this decision which legally allows us to continue our street marches as a way of social communication.’

God of all,

We are before you as one people.

Some are celebrating, some are grieving, and some are outraged.

Some are planning celebrations, while some are planning counter-demonstrations – perhaps even worse.

We, the members and allies of the LGBT+ community in the Republic of Korea, are grateful that a harvest of justice has come. We are grateful for activists, lawyers, and all those who have stood up to make sure that sexual minorities may take their place in this society. We are grateful for those who have stood, and stand, unafraid, willing to face discrimination and hatred. We are grateful for spiritual leaders of many religious traditions who are willing to recognize the identity of LGBT+ persons as your children.

At the same time, we recognize that there are those who are unhappy. People who have made decisions have had those decisions overturned. People who don’t understand a Gospel of inclusion must adjust to a changing reality – a reality they are, no doubt, afraid of. We know how fear can turn to anger, anger to rage, and rage to violence.

We know there is no easy solution in this situation. Some have drawn battle lines. The body of Christ in this country is experiencing brokenness. Some parts of the body are saying to other parts, ‘We have no need of you!’ Those Christians and congregations which seek to support the LGBT+ community are viewed with suspicion, or are told to ‘repent!’ We don’t know who could serve as the ‘honest broker’ between sides. We are not of one mind. We confess that we are, at this point, unable to reconcile divergent understandings of Scripture, sexuality, and faithfulness. We are a broken body.

Yet, the Gospel, the story you give to us, speaks of nourishment and refreshment through a body which is broken and blood which is shed. It speaks of a Christ who breaks barriers down and brings unity. It speaks of a Christ who is peace, who gives a peace to us which cannot be given by any other source. It speaks of a Spirit which is alive and active throughout all creation. It speaks of life overcoming death, grace overcoming sin, and reconciliation overcoming estrangement.

We don’t always know or understand how this happens, and we’re uncertain of how it will happen in this situation – but we trust it will happen. We trust that your Reign will come, and your will shall be done – ‘as in heaven, so on earth’.

Therefore, we ask that you sow seeds of love, justice, and reconciliation among us, around us, and beyond us. Let these seeds take root and grow among us, even though we may not always understand how it happens. Let the growth of these seeds choke off weeds of enmity and distrust. Help us to harvest the growth of these seeds as patience and forbearance, but also as honesty and truthfulness. Lead us, your people, currently estranged, into greater harmony and greater community.

We pray this in the name of your Beloved, Anointed One, Jesus, the Christ, in the power of your life-giving Spirit. AMEN.

(PS – If you’d like to use this prayer, or any part of it, no problem. Just acknowledge where you got it from. Thanks.)


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