Pages InformationWriter Jogye Date02 Aug 2017 Read833 Comment0
Social Affairs and Labor Relations Commission Aspired for a World without Discrimination at the 2017 Korea Queer Culture Festival
The Social Affairs and Labor Relations Commission of the Jogye Order (Chairman Ven. Hyeyong) prayed for a world without discrimination with sexual minorities who are suffering from social stigma at the 2017 Korea Queer Culture Festival held on July 15 at Seoul Plaza. The members of the Commission also called for prohibiting discrimination against sexual minorities.
The Korea Queer Culture Festival, first held in 2000, has established itself as the biggest summer festival for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Korea. Seoul Plaza was filled with 101 booths prepared by sexual minorities, supporters and human rights organizations. Jogye Order’s Social Affairs and Labor Relations Commission participated in the festival and established a booth for the first time since the launch of the Commission, making its participation all the more meaningful as a result of its continued interest in advocating rights of sexual minorities.
Although there has been no official stance of the Jogye Order announced with regard to sexual minorities so far, the Social Affairs and Labor Relations Commission has been at the forefront of raising awareness of challenges that LGBT people are faced with, opposing discrimination against them. The Commission also held several events for sexual minorities, including Dharma assemblies and seminars on labor market discrimination against LGBT people. With such efforts of the Commission, the atmosphere at the Buddhist communities has been changed, leading to invitation of sexual minorities to the Dharma Ceremony on Buddha’s Birthday and regular Dharma assemblies for Buddhist LGBT people to give them a listening ear.
On the Queer Culture Festival Day, the Social Affairs and Labor Relations Commission distributed fans with printed phrases such as “In a world without discrimination, we are all Buddha” and “Buddhism stands by sexual minorities” to festival participants with the members of Bulban, a Buddhist sexual minority group .
A message board titled “Suggestions for the Buddhist communities” was also set up in front of the Commission’s booth. Some of the messages posted by LGBT people and supporters included, “I support equality of Buddhism”, “I love the Buddhist communities which fight discrimination” and “Thank you for leading anti-discrimination initiatives”. Following the culture festival, the Social Affairs and Labor Relations Commission joined the street march from 4 pm for two hours.
Ven. Hyorok, a member of the Commission, said, “Activities to support the marginalized and discriminated have long been traditions of the Buddhist communities. Sexual minorities express their gratitude to the Commission for being interested in challenges they are faced with unlike other religious communities. I believe the Buddhist communities need to be more proactive to protect human rights of sexual minorities. Systemized education on their rights should also be provided going forward.”
Article reference: http://www.ibulgyo.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=159115