Seoul Human Rights Film Festival’s permanent activist, Go Un, holds a one-man protest in front of the National Assembly in front of the ‘Nongjang urge to enact anti-discrimination law’ on the 23rd. Kyunghyang Newspaper
In front of the main gate of the National Assembly, there is a tent farmhouse urging the enactment of an anti-discrimination law. Members of the Anti-Discrimination Law Enactment Coalition formed by several civic groups have been taking turns guarding this tent from the 8th to the 16th. On a plastic tent decorated with a rainbow colored border, the words ‘Enact by 2021, the National Assembly should enact an anti-discrimination law’ is written in large letters.
Two human rights activists in their 20s spent the night in a tent in sub-zero weather on the 23rd. These are Lee Shim-ji (28) and Go Un (29), who are permanent activists at the Seoul Human Rights Film Festival. “I came here thinking that the National Assembly has no will to enact laws, so I have to do something,” said Go Un. The two held a one-man protest in front of the main gate of the National Assembly on the same day holding up signposts with phrases such as ‘Let’s finish it later, the anti-discrimination law comes first’.
In the National Assembly, the Anti-Discrimination Act (Equality Act) bill proposed by the Justice Party’s Jang Hye-young and Kwon In-suk, Park Ju-min, and Lee Sang-min of the Democratic Party, respectively, is pending in the National Assembly. Each bill states that discrimination on the basis of gender, disability, medical history, age, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or educational background is prohibited.
On the 10th, the National Assembly Legislation and Judiciary Committee postponed the review of the anti-discrimination bill to May 2024, the closing date of the 21st National Assembly. Democratic presidential candidate Lee Jae-myung recently expressed his prudence in legislation, and discussions in the National Assembly have been hectic. Lee criticized, “It was delayed until 2024 because it seems that the bill is being scrapped ahead of the presidential election.” About 500 Eunpyeong-gu residents even sent a letter of protest to Rep. Park Jumin, whose constituency was Eunpyeong-gap.
Right next to the Nongjang-jang, which calls for the enactment of the anti-discrimination law, there is also an anti-discrimination law-backed Nongjang led by conservative Christians. Someone was holding a sign saying, ‘Don’t make our children gay.’ “It is sad to be able to say such a thing without shame,” said Go Woon. The two met at the farmhouse in front of the National Assembly this morning.
Lee Shim-ji, a permanent activist at the Seoul Human Rights Film Festival, holds a one-man protest urging the enactment of an anti-discrimination law in front of the main gate of the National Assembly on the 23rd. Kyunghyang Newspaper
– Why did you go to the sit-in?
“As a human rights activist, my interest in human rights naturally grew. The Seoul Human Rights Film Festival is a human rights organization that operates under the slogan that anyone should be able to watch movies without discrimination. I came up with the thought that if the National Assembly postponed enacting a law, it would mean that it had no will to enact it, so it would be a big deal if nothing was done. As a citizen and voter, I am upset that our future is in the hands of politicians.”
– The National Assembly Judiciary Committee has delayed the review of the Anti-Discrimination Bill to 2024.
“With the presidential election just around the corner, we postponed it, conscious of the false voters. I was embarrassed because it seemed so transparent that I didn’t want to deal with the bill. In addition, President Moon Jae-in and lawmaker Park Ju-min, who introduced the anti-discrimination bill this time, are former human rights lawyers. President Moon said, ‘I will become a feminist president,’ and I wondered if I had lifted a candle for this. Regime change is basic and we had to go further after that, but important human rights issues have not been resolved by the current government. Since the 2014 Anti-Discrimination Act was proposed and withdrawn, the Student Human Rights Ordinance has been repealed or withdrawn.”
– Democratic presidential candidate Lee Jae-myung advocated prudence in the anti-discrimination law.
“‘I need it but later’ means that I don’t need it now. Hate groups and conservative Protestants who say that the queer festival is dirty will not vote for this candidate. Rather than them, we should embrace and go together with those who have been hurt and harmed by hate and discrimination. I saw a poll of 15% of women in their 20s supporting the Justice Party candidate Shim Sang-jung. Maybe it’s because the Justice Party is the only party in the House to properly voice the rights of minorities.”
– Yoon Seok-yeol, a presidential candidate for the People’s Power, said that the anti-discrimination law would destroy jobs.
“Korea has the largest gender wage gap among OECD countries. Many people with disabilities and young people are still working for less than the minimum wage. If the anti-discrimination law is enacted, the wage gap or discrimination against them will be reduced, resulting in better jobs.”
– What would you like to say to each presidential candidate?
“Voters are not the only ones who hate minorities. I hope you don’t try to win votes by creating hate and inciting conflict. Even if you think about election engineering, there are quite a few votes from LGBT people and people who value their human rights.”
[관련기사]500 Eunpyeong-gu residents, “Where are you looking at Park Jumin’s politics?” urges discussion of anti-discrimination law