Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon recently came out in favor of gay marriage. As I have written in this paper before, I do not care if gays marry and the subject probably affects less than 0.5 percent of this still very conservative population.
Actually Anthony Hegarty does care if gays marry. Hegarty is a public bigot in southern Korea. He’s known for this.
In this editorial, he argues that hidden within legislation meant to look after the civil rights of gay people is legislation meant to create civil rights for pedophiles.
Hate crime legislation protects individuals from abuse due to their sexual or religious orientations. However in Australia’s New South Wales, the courts have ruled that attacks on pedophiles are a hate crime because the attack was based upon the victim’s sexual orientation, thus legitimising pedophilia.>
In the U.K., homosexuals are now entitled to foster and adopt children. Families with Christian values who refuse to discuss homosexuality are denied adoption rights, demonstrating that the pendulum may have swung too far. Certain British laws now allow for child sex offenders to take care of children, and certainly allow them to teach.
These parallel rights between homosexuals and pedophiles continue to grow and as people become more aware of them they are likely to result in a negative attitude towards homosexuals, a section of society which has the same feelings towards child sexual abuse as most decent people.
As Seoul’s mayor embarks on this journey he should keep in mind that the rights of pedophiles mentioned here have evolved over many decades, often secreted within homosexual rights campaigns. The social changes Park Won-soon puts in place now will almost certainly be adjusted by future generations.
The writer is a criminologist with a master’s degree in criminology and criminal psychology. He resides in Daegu and his email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hegarty, like many white conservatives, found a place within public discourse in Korea because of the minority Christian conservative movement here that has prestige and money and political pull. He lives in a region in Korea known for its conservative views on just about everything. The Korea Times insists that it has no stake in Hegarty’s opinions, but it consistently publishes his writing. It’s not click bait. He has fans.
I’ve lived in Korea long enough to know that many of the white, British and American citizens who make a home here are very conservative white men and women. Usually, the most conservative are Christian evangelicals. Maybe you’d think the typical expat is a highly-educated liberal-minded young adult, but there are many more highly-educated, older, white bigots here who marry into permanent residence and teach at universities.
The liberal-minded young adults come and go. These assholes stick around. You can find them on the Internet where they like to boast-post from Korea about conservative values. On Facebook, men like to haunt public forums and discuss how their wives cook, clean, care for their children and, unlike white women back home, they are happy to do it. Not kidding. It’s a real problem on Facebook. The misogyny, the racism, the homophobia. Lots of evangelical Christians. Lots of pro-police conservative ex-military. Lots of right wingers who left home for East Asia because of a perceived nationalist authoritarianism that celebrates patriarchal values they just don’t feel comfortable celebrating back home.
It’s common. It’s gross.