Korea’s first married gay couple, Kim-Jho Gwang-soo and Kim Seung-hwan, have taken court action to get their marriage legally recognised.
Kim-Jho, 50, a movie director, and Kim, 31, CEO of film production company Rainbow Factory, launched their challenge in the Seoul Western District Court on Monday. The couple, who wed in September 2013, have filed a suit against the Seodaemun-gu district office for refusing to register the marriage.
The lawsuit, which was heard behind closed doors in the Seoul Western District Court, hopes to build on the momentum of the US Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage ruling two weeks ago.
Kim-Jho said on her Facebook page Monday
Today might be an important giant step for not just me and Kim but all LGBTs in the nation,”. “I hope the court proves today the first clause of Article 11 in the constitution — which states that all citizens are equal under the law — is effective and not limited to the constitutional meaning.”
The couple were the first to hold a public wedding in the Asian nation, where same-sex marriage remains a taboo.
Knowing their application would be rejected, after a public wedding ceremony in September 2013, the couple submitted their marriage licences to the Seodaemun District Office.
According to the office, the constitution of Korea only recognises opposite-sex couple.
The couple called the rejection of their application “utterly groundless”, and challenged the court to recognise same-sex marriage.
They walked into the court hand-in-hand on Monday, wearing rainbow badges.
They said Monday was “a crucial day” for Korea.
However the country may have quite a way to go. Its Military Criminal Act makes homosexuality illegal, and those found guilty can face up to two years in prison.