Urgent Call for Solidarity From LGBT Activists of Seoul, Republic of Korea
[PETITION NEEDED BEFORE 15TH DEC 12:00 PM (NOON) Seoul Time (GMT+9)]
Clauses Prohibiting Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity are in Danger of Deletion from the Original Draft of the “Seoul Student Rights Ordinance”
Dear LGBT people and allies around the world,
Only a few days are left to make it happen. On December 16th, the Education Committee of the Seoul Metropolitan Council will be reviewing the original draft of the “Seoul Student Rights Ordinance” established by the Residents Initiative Movement (a draft willingly signed by 97,702 citizens of Seoul in a rare act of direct democracy) and making a decision as to whether they should pass the bill into ordinance with or without its current clauses prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
The decision that will be made by the Education Committee is crucial because debate on the ordinance at the following Plenary Session of the Seoul Metropolitan Council will more likely than not be affected by it. There will be a much lesser chance for the clauses being passed then if they are eliminated during the earlier decision on the 16th.
We need your help in convincing the Education Committee of the necessity and importance in keeping the clauses in the final version of the ordinance. Your support for the original draft can prevent the "Seoul Student Rights Ordinance" from becoming another discriminatory document against the LGBT students of Seoul. Your solidarity with our fight can prevent many LGBT students in our city from being beaten, bullied, taken into correction therapy, or punished based on their sexual orientation and gender identity. Your actions can help the LGBT students of Seoul obtain proper protection and enjoy their basic rights at their schools.
The biggest obstacle in passing the LGBT rights-inclusive original draft is the massive homophobic and transphobic pressure coming from conservative right-wing Christian and parental groups, who have been a substantial threat to the committee members and may cause them to drop the ball during their decision making process.
The clauses prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity have already been excluded once from the draft of the Advisory Committee of the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education (SMOE). Although it was just barely restored into the final SMOE version, this draft ultimately did not make it to the discussion table of the Education Committee of Seoul Metropolitan Council because of strong backlash from the biased groups of fundamental Christians and certain parents.
So for now, our last hope is to keep the original draft of the Residents Initiative Movement. We, however, are again facing a similar situation of losing these uncompromisable clauses. Not only do we stand to lose the clauses prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, but the clauses guaranteeing the freedom of reproduction, religion and assembly have also come under attack. Without these clauses, the "Seoul Student Rights Ordinance" will become an ordinance not for the rights of but for the discrimination against students in Seoul.
As one of the countries which voted in favor of the resolution “17/19 Human Rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity” adopted by the United Nations Human Rights Council on June 2011, the Republic of Korea has an obligation to undertake full responsibility for securing the rights of its LGBT people. As a member of the UN Human Rights Council, the Republic of Korea is also committed in the eyes of the international community towards inclusive and comprehensive human rights. And it is an undeniable fact that LGBT rights are human rights.
No exception is acceptable from the Seoul Metropolitan Council. As representatives of ALL the citizens of Seoul, the elected members of the council must not ignore the voices of the people from marginalized populations. Please stand up and speak out with us Korean LGBT activists and pressure the Education Committee and the Seoul Metropolitan Council to pass the original draft of the "Seoul Student Rights Ordinance," which includes clauses prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Please tell them to keep the current draft of the ordinance including every clause which clearly illustrates the type of discrimination that should be prohibited.
LGBT Coalition for Seoul Student Rights Ordinance
* Contacts *
Webpage: http://blog.lgbtact.org/tc/ (In Korean)
Email: email@example.com (Reply in English is available)
Twitter: @lgbtstu (In Korean)