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(picture and text via Kukmin Ilbo, reposted from my Tumblr)
(English portion of banner held up by protestors: Why OBAMA incide Homosex in KOREA? / Stop interfering! Go out!
Korean portion of banner: Obama and Ambassador Lippert of the U.S. spread homosexuality and AIDS / Stop interfering in internal affairs and leave!)

On May 10, three evangelical Christian groups--Only Jesus Love, G&F Ministry, and VOCD International--protested the U.S. Embassy in Korea for being one of the sponsors of a forum for parents of LGBT people. They claimed the U.S. was interfering in Korea’s internal affairs and morality. They also argued that homosexuality is contributing to an epidemic of HIV in Korea and the U.S. should not be promoting the practice in South Korea.

Here is a letter OJL sent to U.S. Ambassador to Korea Mark William Lippert. I have reproduced the English version as is, with my fact checks and responses in bold.


Date: May 10, 2016

To : United States Ambassador Mark William Lippert

Title : We would demand that US Ambassdor do not interfere the ethical issues in South Korea.

We respect the work of the United States Embassy.

We are a national christians organization that tries to keep our rights in South Korea.

We were informed that US Embasssy supporting the meeting forum for parents of homosexuals today.( May 10, 2016)

The international diplomatic principle explicitly specifies 'each countries must not intervene in moral and ethnic problems of other countries'.

I’m not entirely clear on what passage is being quoted here, since I am aware of no principle that is worded this (ungrammatical) way, but the letter-writer is likely referring to the principle of non-intervention or non-interference. As Oppenheimer’s International Law states, however, in order for an action to fall under this prohibition “the interference must be forcible or dictatorial, or otherwise coercive, in effect depriving the state intervened against of control over the matter in question.” (PDF link, page 2) Military intervention is a classic example, and trade or financial measures are another area under discussion as intervention. Sponsoring a civilian human rights event is not considered an example of illegal intervention.

Also, when compared to the Korean version, the letter-writer appears to have meant “ethical” rather than “ethnic.” My intent is not to mock the English (I am Korean myself and speak English as a second language) but to clarify the meaning, as the misused word here changes the meaning of the sentence.

It would be against the basic diplomatic principle that do not intervene in the culture of foreign contries.
There are about 200 countries in the world, each of them have their own different cultures and standards for ethnics and morals.

(Again, to clarify, a comparison with the Korean version shows the intent was “ethics and morals.”)

Even though US has legalized homosexual marriage which is still illegal in Korea, Korea has never tried to condemn them or support activities related to anti-homosexual movements in the US.

By this I assume that the letter-writer means the Korean government has never condemned the U.S., because Korean Christians certainly have.

Athough Korea is aware that pedophile and polygamous activists in the US have just lawyer-up for their rights claiming that they are also sexual minorities as homosexuals - and their rights should be acknowledged; however, Koreans haven't denounced them or supported any anti-movements towards them within US.

I am not aware of pending cases or civil movements for the rights of pedophiles and polygamists; Warren Jeffs, an FLDS leader who was arguably both, is serving a life sentence plus twenty years for child sexual assault and this is not controversial.

Furthermore, LGBT rights and pedophile “rights” are very different because the latter involves the sexual coercion of minor children. While it does appear that some people are attracted to children against their own will, and may need help to keep from offending and hurting children, that is as far as pedophile rights can go and the arguments that supported LGBT rights cannot apply to pedophilia.

Polygamy between consenting adults falls under the general permission of sexual autonomy, though how the state can accommodate these arrangements is another issue and, again, not one related to monogamous same-sex marriages. I find it mildly ironic that Christian groups are condemning the practice, actually.

Even though Sweden has legalized Zoophile in the past, Korea hasn't condemned their actions or supported any activists against it within Europe.

In fact, Sweden did the exact opposite when it made bestiality illegal starting in January of 2014.

It's because we can't be involved in moral ethnic problems within other countries by the international diplomatic principle.

(Again, the letter-writer meant “ethical.”)

But why did US embassy directly host the meeting forum for parents of homosexuals on top of supporting homosexuality that spreads AIDS in Korea?

As the statistics issued by CDC in the US that show teenage boys making up 95% of the whole AIDS patients, more than 1000 teenagers in Korea are getting infected with AIDS each year due to homosexuality.

Actually, CDC statistics show that children and teenagers (from under 13 to 19) account for 4.6% of HIV diagnoses in 2014, and 1.7% of all people living with Stage 3 (AIDS) of the infection.

Also, according to the Korea Federation for HIV/AIDS Prevention, there were 1,191 new HIV infections reported in total in Korea in 2014. Of these, 43 were children and teenagers from the ages of 10 to 19. (The source of their data is the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)

According to announcements by KCDCK(Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), there were middle school and high school students among the teenagers infected with AIDS due to homosexuality last year(2015). Korean parents are astounded by it.

I could not find any such accouncement from the KCDCP (I believe this is the correct abbreviation), but I did find a 2014 article from Christian Today, an evangelical newspaper, taking the Center to task for allegedly concealing the link between homosexuality and HIV infection.

While, the amount of people infected with AIDS is fast-growing, US embassy is doing activities to encourage homosexuality in Korea.And it only provokes preexisting anti-American sentiment within Korea.

To my knowledge, anti-American sentiment within Korea is mostly due to U.S. security and trade policy, not its LGBT policy. In fact, Christian groups are usually among the most vocal in supporting the Korea-U.S. alliance.

Also, direct hosting of meeting forum for Parents of LGBT by US embassy - which is instructed by US government - is indisputably an intervention in the domestic affairs towards moral and ethnic problems in Korea.

As explained above, sponsorship of voluntary civic activities does not fall under prohibited coercive intervention into a country’s internal matters.

What would US think If Korean embassy took opposite stance for homosexual marriage which is legal in the US, and supported anti-homosexuality activists? they would say 'stay out of their domestic affairs'.

I believe they would actually say, “you’re being homophobic.”

Homosexual people lead a very miserable life; - even those in countries where homosexuality and homosexual marriage is legalized, have 4 times higher suicide rate, 2 times higher cancer incident rate due to abnormal sexual relationships and 25-30 years shorter average life span compared to heterosexual people. That is 10 years shorter average life span than alcoholics'.

It is true that the LGBT community have elevated suicide risks: One study found that “US gay and bisexual males have more than a 3-fold increased risk of ever attempting suicide in comparison with their heterosexual male counterparts.” However, the same study also found that “Some risk factors were specific to being gay or bisexual in a hostile environment,” discussing how it might not be homosexuality causing the problem, but rather people like the letter-writer.

Homosexuality is a serious sex addiction. Many homosexual people confessed this because of their conscience.

Many homosexual people have hard time because of their sex addition and they are very suffering because they are constantly exposed to AIDS, other various sexually transmitted diseases and commit suicide whole life.

Many homosexual people are going through psychological struggle inside and they really want to escape from homosexuality if possible. Many homosexual people confessed this too.

Yet findings seem to indicate they suffer from homophobia rather than homosexuality.

Even if we know all this, we just let them be so they can die early. This is one way of abominating homosexuals.

In this case I think I need to translate from the Korean to get the writer’s intent across. It should read more like: “Knowing all this, if we leave homosexuals alone to die early practicing homosexuality, that is the true homophobia.”

However, you insist that we should acknowledge their homosexuality, leaving them alone to die in misery.

It seems to me that getting parents involved to understand their chlidren and support them is the opposite of “leaving them alone to die in misery.”

Is it really for human rights? No, most South Korean never think that.

Actually, Koreans’ attitudes toward LGBT rights are changing very rapidly, going from 18% responding in a 2007 survey that they do not oppose homosexuality to 39% saying the same in a 2013 survey. There is a sharp generational split here, with nearly half (47.4%) of individuals in their 20s saying that they have no objections to homosexuality.

Real love isn't about allowing them their rights of homosexuality at their request, but it's about helping them get out of their miserable life.

Or perhaps you could stop making LGBT people miserable by quoting false statistics at them and calling them sex addicts. Just a thought.

It is a lie that homosexuality is in-born trait. Homosexuality can be cured. Many ex-homosexual have confessed this and we have many cases and witnesses for it.

Actually, conversion therapy has been debunked and renounced by the mainstream mental health and professional organizations.

Koreans are well aware of the fact 'homosexuality has been erased from the list of metal disorders of (APA-American Psychological Association) as a political measure due to the violence of extreme homosexuals, who had armed themselves to invade APA, assaulted doctors of APA, sent out letters threatening their lives' - has been exposed by books of homosexual activists' confessions in the US.

No, “Koreans” are not aware of this, and I consider myself better-informed than most. (Then again I did not “know” that a thousand teenagers a year are diagnosed with AIDS in Korea, and evidently neither do the public health authorities because it’s not true.) This paragraph seems to refer to the removal of homosexuality from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual III of the APA. The change came about through such pioneering works as that of Evelyn Hooker, and stories of armed homosexuals invading the APA are conspicuously absent even from an account that is hostile to the decision.

Therefore, we should stop lying to parents of homosexuals that homosexuality is normal and not a mental disorder.

We know that United States have approved the homosexuality and same-sex marriage. However, we do not have to follow their suit in Korea.

There are only 20 countries in the world in which homosexual marriage is legalized. Eighty countries in the world are still against and punish it.

Those 80 countries include such shining paragons of human rights as Saudi Arabia and Iran. I guess this is what happens when your homophobia outweighs your Islamophobia.

There are 10 million Christians in Korea. We believe that homosexuality is against God's will and a great sin that will bring the wrath of God.

South Korean government never intertfere the ethical culture of other foreign countries.

Therefore, We would demand that other foreign countries do not interfere the ethical issues in South Korea.

We specifically request to US Embassy.

First, Korea is a country that prides itself for having great culture and tradition.

It is acknowledged as the "land of great moral virtue" throughout its 5000 years of history.

I take great pride in my heritage, but it is far from perfect with many problems to solve. Homophobia is one of them.

We can develop our culture and tradition on our own.

This is actually true. We just have different ideas about the development of our culture and traditions, because Koreans are not a monolithic group--and if the yearly and generational trends are any indication, it is the letter-writer and others like them who may find themselves in the minority.

We demand you not to interfere with our ethics problems in Korea.

Second, As revealed from the witnesses of many ex-homosexuals, do not lie that sexual addiction is a human rights!

“Do not lie” seems rather comical, coming from a group that was just citing blatantly made-up statistics and facts in this very letter.

Third, More than 1,000 Korean youth are getting infected with AIDS because of homosexuality every year.

I find it richly ironic that this statistic, which is false as stated above, comes directly after the exhortation not to lie. Don’t Christians have a book telling them not to give false witness?

So, stop promote homosexuality in South Korea!

Fourth, Respect the wishes of Most Korean who oppose homosexuality.

Those Koreans who oppose homosexuality are free not to attend LGBT support meetings like the one that the U.S. Embassy sponsored, but do not have the right to stop others from doing so.

Stop attacking anti-homosexual people for being homophobic.

You are being homophobic, though, when you spread malicious lies about the LGBT community, and go against science and common sense to tell them they are lesser and destined to be miserable.

They truly love people with homosexuality and that's why they oppose homosexuality.

*Long wet fart noise* I’m sorry, I tried to be patient.

Fifth, the same-sex marriage is allowed in a country where they also permit animal sex and incest, we know that there are many things that cannot be allowed in Korea ethically.

Are they talking about Sweden? This isn’t true, actually, as pointed out above.

We have the rights to protect and preserve our traditional values.

You are not the only Koreans who matter. The culture and values are not yours alone. Don’t think you can dictate what it means to be Korean, or what our traditions and values mean. We, LGBT people and allies alike, live in the same society and we are part of the conversation. We are as Korean as you are, and it is as much our culture as yours.

If your Embassy continues to support homosexuality and do not respect for Korean moral standards is not improved in South Korea, it only provokes preexisting anti-American sentiment within Korea.

Please remember many Korean people watching your actions.

Is this a threat? It really sounds like a threat to me, addressed to an official who was attacked with a knife by an anti-American fanatic just last year.

May 10, 2016

OJL Mission in Korea.
Dreamwidth entry URL: http://ljlee.dreamwidth.org/70472.html


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 4th, 2016 02:58 pm (UTC)
I saw you post this on Tumblr before. Excellent response.
I really hate seeing things like this... I don't know if they're still there (I mean, it's been a year but I don't think they've gone anywhere) but every time I pass those Christian homophobes who are camped outside city hall I get angry
Jun. 6th, 2016 01:58 am (UTC)
Thank you! These people are the worst.

You mean there's an anti-gay protest that's going on for a whole year? Christ, why don't these people get a life.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


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