Gay South Korean celebrity’s wedding plans make national news

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The first time a South Korean celebrity announced he was gay, in 2000, the reaction was quick and without empathy.

Popular actor and entertainer Hong Suk-chon was banished from television and radio programs for three years, and he said in a talk-show interview this year that he regrets coming out.

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In a legal sense, not much has changed since then for gays and lesbians in this deeply conservative country.

They can’t marry or enter into civil unions, and the law cannot effectively protect them from discrimination. But another celebrity’s recent wedding announcement suggests they may be slowly winning the fight for public acceptance.

Movie director Kim Jho Gwangsoo surprised many last month by announcing he will symbolically tie the knot with his longtime male partner, Dave Kim, on September 7. The couple envision a massive public event in Seoul with guests honouring their relations by donating money to build a center for LGBT people.

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