Director Kim Jho Gwang-soo made history on Saturday, September 7, when he symbolically married his partner in a public wedding ceremony in central Seoul.
The 48-year-old film director and his male partner Kim Seung Hwan – 19 years his junior – exchanged their vows on a dramatic stage setup at the Gwangtonggyo Ancient Bridge in Seoul’s Cheonggyecheon district before approximately 1,000 guests and local residents.
The two-hour ceremony was, however, interrupted when one of the spectators rushed the stage and threw old food at the wedding choir. The man, in his 50s identified himself as a Christian church elder and wore a t-shirt that read: “Oppose marriage against humanity”.
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“Now people cannot but call us as a married couple as we have had a wedding,” the director, told a news conference, holding his partner’s hand tightly before the ceremony got underway. “It is important whether or not we become a legally bound couple. But more importantly, we want to let people know that gays can marry too in our society.”
The couple also declared that they would use the proceeds from the monetary wedding gifts to establish a center for LGBT rights.
Same-sex marriages remain unrecognised in South Korea and cannot be officially registered.