Showing posts with label Religion Anti Gays. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Religion Anti Gays. Show all posts

April 11, 2020

Gay Man Arrested For Posting Rainbow Flag on Tent Hospital Run By Anti Gay Preacher

Metro Weekly

Billy Talen, william talen, franklin graham, new york
(L) William Talen in character as Reverend Billy — Photo: Jonathan McIntosh; (R) Talen being arrested — Photo: Twitter
A gay man has been arrested after trying to plant an LGBTQ Pride flag at a COVID-19 tent hospital in New York City that was operated by an anti-LGBTQ preacher. 
The 68-bed tent hospital in Central Park was established last week by evangelical Christian aid organization Samaritan’s Purse and is intended to help treat overflow patients from Mount Sinai Hospital experiencing COVID-19-related respiratory distress.
Samaritan’s Purse is led by anti-LGBTQ preacher Franklin Graham, who has a historyof opposing LGBTQ people and equality, and the tent hospital reportedly requires all volunteers to agree to a “Statement of Faith” which includes expressing vehement opposition to homosexuality and transgender people.
William Talen, 69, was arrested on Sunday by police after entering the grounds of the tent hospital and trying to plant a flag pole with a rainbow flag attached, NBC Newsreports.
Talen was dressed as his Reverend Billy persona, which the gay actor and playwright uses to satirize conservative religious figures and consumerism.
He has been charged with criminal trespass, disorderly conduct, obstructing governmental administration, and resisting arrest, according to police. 
Talen “jumped over the outer perimeter barrier of the Samaritan’s Purse Field Hospital, a prohibited area,” according to a police statement, and after ignoring demands to leave, “proceeded to plant a flag on a pole into the ground.”
As he was led away from the tent hospital by police officers, one of whom was carrying his flag, Talen said, “They [Samaritan’s Purse] have no business being in New York City. They are the virus,” according to NBC News
In a video of his arrest posted to Twitter, he said Samaritan’s Purse was “taking advantage of our sorrow,” calling them “predators” and “right-wing apocalyptic Christians.”
“Today I tried to deliver a rainbow flag to the Samaritans Purse field hospital in Central Park,” Talen wrote in the tweet. “Franklin Graham and his Lords Army are here with their homophobic racist hustle. Help not hate.”
Today I tried to deliver a rainbow flag to the Samaritans Purse field hospital in Central Park. Franklin Graham and his Lords Army are here with their homophobic racist hustle. Help not hate.
346 people are talking about this
After the tent hospital was erected, LGBTQ activists and politicians expressed concernthat Samaritan’s Purse may refuse care to LGBTQ people.
State Sen. Brad Hoylman (D-Manhattan), who is gay, said he would be monitoring the organization closely, saying, “COVID-19 doesn’t discriminate, and neither should Franklin Graham. It’s unacceptable that a New Yorker infected with COVID-19 could be subjected to discriminatory treatment from an organization whose leader calls us ‘immoral’ and ‘detestable.’
“Sadly, beggars can’t be choosers: New York needs every ventilator we can get,” Hoylman added. “But homophobic pastor Franklin Graham and his field hospital operation in Central Park must guarantee all LGBTQ patients with COVID-19 are treated with dignity and respect. We’ll be watching.”
In a statement to Metro Weekly, Samaritan’s Purse rejected claims that it may turn away LGBTQ people seeking care for COVID-19.
“Samaritan’s Purse does not discriminate in who we help, and we have a decades-long track record that confirms just that. We do not make distinctions about an individual’s religion, race, sexual orientation, or economic status,” said Kaitlyn Lahm, the assistant director of marketing and media relations at Samaritan’s Purse.

“Our doors at the Emergency Field Hospital in the East Meadow are going to be open to all New Yorkers who need our help. We are here to save life, which is precious in God’s sight — and we do it all in Jesus’ Name. We are a Christian organization and we hire Christians who share our statement of faith. We have a common denominator of our faith in Jesus Christ and sharing that hope.”

April 8, 2020

Christian Samaritan's Group Helping Build Temp Hospitals Requiring Workers To Sign Anti LGBTQ Statement of Faith

Some are so full of guilt that only sacrifices from them and the people that sorround them is never enough.

The claim: Christian humanitarian group Samaritan’s Purse requires that workers in its NYC COVID-19 operation sign an anti-LGBTQ 'Statement of Faith'

Samaritan’s Purse, a Christian aid group that has conducted relief efforts around the world, set up a 68-bed field hospital staffed by several dozen personnel in New York’s Central Park to address the COVID-19 outbreak.
The organization’s president and CEO, Franklin Graham, is a prominent evangelical Christian with a history of anti-LGBTQ statements. The organization has received praise for its efforts, which have relieved pressure on the city’s overburdened health care system, while drawing criticism for its stance on LGBTQ issues.
“If you are a Christian doctor, nurse, paramedic, or other medical professional interested in serving COVID-19 patients in our @SamaritansPurse Emergency Field Hospital in NYC, please visit,” Graham tweeted March 29.
Reports have circulated online claiming that the organization requires volunteers to sign a “Statement of Faith” that contains anti-LGBTQ language. The organization’s Statement of Faith includes an article stating that “God instituted monogamous marriage between male and female as the foundation of the family and the basic structure of human society. For this reason, we believe that marriage is exclusively the union of one genetic male and one genetic female.” 
Politicians expressed concern about the organization’s provision of care to LGBTQ individuals, while others condemned the organization’s involvement in the pandemic response.
“Franklin Graham has a long history of spewing anti-LGBTQ hate speech, and I find it extremely troubling that he and his organization are involved in our relief efforts in any way,” said New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, who is gay. “New York City is known around the world for our embrace of diversity, and Franklin Graham has spent his career standing against these values. I will be monitoring this situation closely and making sure that our city’s values are being represented at all times.” 
“Today I’m calling on Franklin Graham to publicly assure LGBTQ New Yorkers that they will receive the same treatment as anyone else at the Central Park field hospital,” New York state Sen. Brad Hoylman said in a statement. “The City of New York and the Mount Sinai hospital network must monitor conditions closely at Graham’s facility and ensure every single LGBTQ patient is treated fairly. We cannot abandon our moral compass in the middle of a pandemic.” 
Samaritan's purse and NYC discrimination laws

April 4, 2020

Trump Appoints An Anti Gay Demagogue to Run Hospital in C.Park, Franklin Graham

 Trump paying back to one of his money contributors..not a Dr but an Anti Gay demagogue

A field hospital that was set up in Central Park’s East Meadow to help coronavirus patients is operated by a homophobic non-profit led by bigoted religious leader Franklin Graham, raising serious concerns about whether queer patients at the pop-up spot could face discrimination.
In fact, Graham, who is the son of the late evangelical figure Billy Graham and has a history of spreading his anti-LGBTQ agenda, has already used the field hospital — operated by his North Carolina-based evangelical non-profit, Samaritan’s Purse — to push his religious beliefs, proving that even in a pandemic he is prioritizing religion over competence. 
“If you are a Christian doctor, nurse, paramedic, or other medical professional interested in serving COVID-19 patients in our @SamaritansPurse Emergency Field Hospital in NYC, please visit,” Graham said in a tweet on the afternoon of March 29.
The 68-bed field hospital, which the non-profit announced the opening of for March 31, drew immediate concern from out gay State Senator Brad Hoylman, whose Manhattan district borders the southwest corner of Central Park. The lawmaker called on the New York City Commission on Human Rights and the Mount Sinai Hospital network — which is partnering with Samaritan’s Purse on the park hospital operation — to monitor the non-profit’s actions in the park, saying that the city and hospital system must “ensure every LGBTQ patient is treated fairly.”
 “COVID-19 doesn’t discriminate, and neither should Franklin Graham,” Hoylman stated. “It’s unacceptable that a New Yorker infected with COVID-19 could be subjected to discriminatory treatment from an organization whose leader calls us ‘immoral’ and ‘detestable.’”
Hoylman added, “I’m calling on Franklin Graham to publicly assure LGBTQ New Yorkers that they will receive the same treatment as anyone else at the Central Park field hospital… we’ll be watching.”
The current statement of faith on the Samaritan’s Purse website explicitly rejects queer relationships and, in doing so, somehow finds a way to sneak in a slight on transgender and non-binary individuals, as well.
“…God created man and woman as unique biological persons made to complete each other,” the statement notes. “God instituted monogamous marriage between male and female as the foundation of the family and the basic structure of human society. For this reason, we believe that marriage is exclusively the union of one genetic male and one genetic female.”
The non-profit’s 990 tax documents from 2018 made it clear that Samaritan’s Purse intends to inject its religious beliefs into the organization’s work, raising more red flags about the group’s intentions in Central Park.
“As a Christian ministry, we believe that marriage, between one man and one woman, was created by God,” the organization stated in those tax documents. “Samaritan’s Purse acknowledges the unique, distinct, and elevated role of marriage and the family, and we desire to affirm God’s design for marriage and the family as it pertains to carrying out our mission and ministry.”
There appear to be few limits to Graham’s hateful agenda. In 2017, he voiced his opposition to a 2017 Congressional bill that would make conversion therapy illegal in the United States.
“Now Democrats are proposing a bill to ban conversion therapy in the United States, saying that LGBTQ people were born perfect,” Graham wrote in a Facebook post at the time. “Actually, they are very misled.”
Samaritan’s Purse’s policies and statement of faith have drawn the attention of those who have reviewed the necessary steps to volunteer with the organization. Kelli Dunham, a genderqueer comedian and author, tweeted out a snapshot of Samaritan’s Purse’s volunteer sign-up form, which states, “We ask that volunteers review our Statement of Faith and agree to support the ministry guidelines of Samaritan’s Purse.”

Franklin Graham’s March 29 tweet looking for Christian medical professionals to staff his Central Park field hospital.

“This is scary as hell,” Dunham wrote in a tweet. “In order to volunteer with this organization, you have to affirm their anti-LGBT and anti-trans statement of belief.  Well it didn’t take too long into the pandemic to throw queer folks under the bus!”
In a statement yesterday to, a spokesperson for Mayor Bill de Blasio repeated the customary refrain the mayor uses when questioned about the city’s interactions with faith-based groups with anti-LGBTQ policies, saying, “Our record on human rights is clear.”
In a letter to Mount Sinai staff that acknowledged “the concerns about [Samaritan’s Purse’s] policies and political positions, especially when it comes to our LGBTQ community,” Dr. Dennis S. Charney, dean of the Icahn School of Medicine there, and Dr. David L. Reich, president and chief operating officer of the hospital, quoted de Blasio more fully, saying, “Mount Sinai was able to come to an agreement with Samaritan’s Purse to create this facility, and the city offered logistical support. Our record on human rights is clear, and we are confident that the joint effort by Mount Sinai and Samaritan’s Purse will save New Yorkers’ lives while adhering to the values we hold dear by providing care to anyone who needs it, regardless of background.”
As for Mount Sinai’s view of the matter, the two men wrote, “While we have strong differences of opinion with Samaritan’s Purse on this issue, this does not detract from our shared mission to save lives in our wonderfully multicultural and diverse city. While many in this nation could have responded to calls for help, Samaritan’s Purse not only responded, but did so in a fashion that no other organization could accomplish so rapidly.”
The letter also noted that Reich is “an LGBTQ person who has experienced decades of anti-LGBTQ sentiments. David believes that the higher mission at present is to preserve human life.”
The letter from Reich and Charney did not say whether Mount Sinai had raised Graham and Samaritan’s posture on LGBTQ rights with the non-profit, nor did it address Graham’s call for Christian medical personnel.
In a statement provided to Gay City News, the New York City Commission on Human Rights’s out lesbian chair Carmelyn P. Malalis did not directly mention Graham or Samaritan’s Purse, but she appeared to send a warning shot to those who dare to treat queer patients differently in the city.
“The New York City Commission on Human Rights enforces the New York City Human Rights Law, one of the most protective in the nation with over 25 protected classes,” Malalis said. “The full force of our law remains in effect and we must continue to uphold our mandate to protect the human rights of all New Yorkers, perhaps now more than ever. We encourage anyone who has been the victim of discrimination in New York City to report to the Commission by dialing 311 and asking for human rights.”
Those who would like to report discrimination can contact the Commission of Human Rights at 718-722-3131 or at 311

April 1, 2020

Rising From The Confines of Hell The Enemies of The LGBTQ Community Are Rising


By Julie Moreau

The number of anti-LGBTQ hate groups soared 43 percent last year, rising from 49 groups in 2018 to 70 in 2019, according to a recent report from the Southern Poverty Law Center.
“Groups that vilify the LGBTQ community, in fact, represented the fastest-growing sector among hate groups in 2019,” the report states. The SPLC found the surge in anti-LGBTQ groups occurred amid an overall decrease in hate groups last year, which dropped to 940 from an all-time high of 1,020 in 2018.
The report said the surge was “possibly fueled by continued anti-LGBTQ sentiment and policy emanating from government officials,” largely attributing it to the Trump administration.
“Anti-LGBTQ groups have become intertwined with the Trump administration, and — after years of civil rights progress and growing acceptance among the broader American public — anti-LGBTQ sentiment within the Republican Party is rising,” the report states. “Though Trump promised during his campaign to be a ‘real friend’ to the LGBTQ community, he has fully embraced anti-LGBTQ hate groups and their agenda of dismantling federal protections and resources for LGBTQ people.”

Image: Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump holds a rainbow flag
Then Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump holds a rainbow flag given to him by a supporter during a campaign rally at the University of Northern Colorado on Oct. 30, 2016 in Greeley, Colo.Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images file

In a statement sent to NBC News, White House spokesman Judd Deere called SPLC a “far-left smear organization” and said its “comments are disgusting.” He also pointed to the president’s track record on LGBTQ issues, saying Trump has “fought for inclusion and repeatedly condemned hate and violence.”
“While the radical left has pushed false accusations that LGBTQ Americans are threatened, the president has hired and promoted LGBTQ Americans to the highest levels of government, including positions at the White House, Cabinet agencies and ambassadorships,” Deere said. “He launched a global campaign to decriminalize homosexuality. … And the president has made the bold declaration that we are committed to ending HIV transmissions in the United States within 10 years.”

Who are these ‘hate groups’?

The Southern Poverty Law Center defines a hate group as “an organization that — based on its official statements or principles, the statements of its leaders, or its activities — has beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics.”
Most of the growth in new anti-LGBTQ hate groups, SPLC’s report found, comes from grassroots churches.
One example is the expansion in the network of churches run by Steven Anderson. Anderson runs Faithful World Baptist Church, in Tempe, Arizona, which has been listed as a hate group by the SPLC for some time. The church, according to its website, believes “homosexuality is a sin and an abomination which God punishes with the death penalty.”
Faithful World Baptist Church did not respond to NBC News’ request for comment.
Many of the 70 “anti-LGBTQ hate groups” in SPLC’s report are well established.

Image: Donald Trump,Tony Perkins
President Donald Trump shakes hands with Family Research Council president Tony Perkins 
at the 2017 Value Voters Summit on Oct. 13, 2017 in Washington.Evan Vucci / AP file

One of the best known is the Family Research Council, which was founded in 1983 and hosts the annual Value Voters Summit for conservative politicians and thousands of participants each year. At last year's summit, President Donald Trump repeated his opposition to the Equality Act, a bill passed by the House that would extend federal nondiscrimination protections to LGBTQ people.
Lecia Brooks, an SPLC spokesperson, told NBC News that the council’s long-time president, Tony Perkins, has been granted “unfettered access” to the Trump administration. Notably, Perkins was appointed to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
Following Perkins’ appointment to the independent, bipartisan commission, the national LGBTQ advocacy group GLAAD compiled a list of more than 30 examples of Perkins’ and FRC’s opposition to the rights of LGBTQ people in the U.S. and abroad. Among those examples are a comparison of same-sex marriage to a marriage between “a man and his horse”; calling the “It Gets Better” project, an initiative designed to help LGBTQ young people cope with bullying and marginalization, “disgusting” and a “concerted effort” to recruit kids into the gay “lifestyle”; and claiming that the “blood” of “young Marines” would be on the hands of lawmakers who voted to repeal the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.
The Family Research Council did not respond to a request for comment. 
Another “anti-LGBTQ hate group” named in the report is the Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative Christian legal group with attorneys across the country and a long track record of litigating against LGBTQ rights.
In a lawsuit that made national headlines last year, ADF represented Jack Phillips, a Christian baker who refused to make a cake for a gay wedding, in a narrow victory at the Supreme Court. ADF is also involved in another Supreme Court case dealing with LGBTQ workers rights, representing a Detroit funeral home that fired an employee after she informed the home that she was undergoing a gender transition. Among its non-Supreme Court cases, ADF is currently representing three athletes in a suit against the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference, which adopted a policy allowing transgender girls to compete in interscholastic sports with cisgender high school girls.
The Trump administration has backed ADF in all three cases, issuing briefs in support of the Christian baker, the funeral home owner and the three cisgender high school athletes.
Jeremy Tedesco, ADF’s senior counsel and vice president of U.S. advocacy, slammed the Southern Poverty Law Center and the timing of its new report, which was released March 18.
“It is appalling that the Southern Poverty Law Center would choose this time of national emergency to launch their divisive and false ‘hate report,’” Tedesco told NBC News. “We call on SPLC to retract the report, stop sowing division and join the rest of America against our common foe: COVID-19.”
Brooks dismissed criticisms of SPLC releasing its annual report during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Fighting hate is something we have to keep at the forefront of our minds,” she said. “They don’t take a break, and we don’t take a break either.” Westboro Baptist Church, known for its public protests that consistently feature signs with homophobic messages like “God Hates Fags,” also appears on the SPLC’s list. In 2019, the grouppicketed Morehouse College and Spelman College after the two historically black, single-sex institutions changed their admissions policy to include transgender students.
Jonathan Phelps, a spokesperson for the church, told NBC News that the SPLC is “not being honest” in their characterization of the Westboro Baptist Church as a hate group.
“We don’t discriminate. Whatever your favorite sin is, if you ask us about it we are going to articulate in the plainest language possible what the Lord Jesus Christ has said about it,” he said. Regarding homosexuality, “it is an abomination,” Phelps added.
Brooks said SPLC stands by its “hate group” designations and dismissed criticisms that the organization disproportionately focuses on religious groups.
“We are not against Christian groups,” Brooks said. “For us, it’s more about the way they go out of their way to demonize LGBTQ folks.”
Brooks also lamented the lack of public pushback against many of these groups.
“Sadly, there is not enough public outcry against anti-LGBTQ groups because we have just let it go saying, ‘That's just their religion,’” she said.

History of ‘anti-LGBTQ hate’

The SPLC has been tracking the number of hate groups in the United States since 1990, but the anti-LGBTQ movement emerged decades before.
According to Tina Fetner, a sociology professor at Canada’s McMaster University, anti-LGBTQ activists began organization “not too long after Stonewall,” the 1969 uprising at the Stonewall Inn, a New York City gay bar.
“Along the same lines that you see today, they put forward stereotypes and vilify, especially gay men, as predators and predators of children, and use that to justify the tactics of taking rights way from LGBTQ people,” Fetner explained. 
 Fetner cited as an early example the activism of Anita Bryant in Florida. The singer-turned-anti-gay-activist was behind the “Save Our Children” campaign, which in 1977 helped overturn a newly passed local ordinance in Miami-Dade County that prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation in employment, housing and public services.
“It caught on with socially conservative evangelical communities, and sort of blossomed and became the lead issue of the Religious Right,” Fetner said.
The late 1970s also saw the emergence of Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority, a political action group that wielded significant influence in the Republican Party. Fetner said Falwell realized early on that raising issues of sexuality was both “titillating and scandalous” enough to prompt followers to make sizable donations to his organization.
“The Religious Right really inserted itself into the Republican Party in the ‘80s and ‘90s and has had an influence in American politics ever since,” she added. However, Fetner said the movement began to decline in the 1990s.
“Young evangelicals weren’t as interested in anti-gay activism as the older folks,” she said. At the same time, acceptance of homosexuality was on the rise in the U.S., across all segments of the population. “People were actually changing their minds.”
By the early 2000s, the U.S. reached a tipping point for acceptance of homosexuality, according to a Pew study, and by 2016, LGBTQ advocates had solidified many civil rights gains, such as the legalization of same-sex marriage.

Why are we seeing a surge?

So, what changed?
“Trump’s embrace of these groups, their leaders and their policy agenda fuels this growth,” Brooks said of the rise in “anti-LGBTQ hate groups.”
The report points to significant staffing and policy choices by the Trump administration that reflect the position of organizations on the SPLC’s growing anti-LGBTQ list.
Since taking office, the Trump administration has rolled back several protections for LGBTQ people through executive orders, includingnondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ workers employed by federal contractors.
“The administration has consistently claimed that laws and regulations that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex do not apply to LGBTQ people and has worked to install religious exemptions to civil rights laws,” the report states. In addition, nearly one third of the administration’s judicial nominees boast anti-LGBTQ track records, according to a report by Lambda Legal.
“Religious conservatives have taken this as an opportunity to push back on any civil rights gains LGBTQ folks have made,” Brooks said. “They couch it in ‘religious freedom,’” she added.
Fetner sees the surge in anti-LGBTQ groups as part of a broader increase of right-wing extremism across Europe and North America.
“I think that anti-gay activism is swept up as part of this new social embrace of intolerance and right-wing attitudes of all kinds,” Fetner said.
“People are disgruntled, going online, getting misinformation and getting radicalized,” she added. “Some portion of these people are joining new organizations or new churches.”
Fetner sees the Trump administration is both the outcome of this broader phenomenon, and a catalyst for increased anti-LGBTQ activism.
“Trump’s win was a signal to these larger social forces that this is their moment,” she said.

What’s the impact?

Anti-LGBTQ groups have a significant impact on policy outcomes, social violence and the priorities of LGBTQ advocacy organizations, according to civil rights advocates and scholars.
“Extremist ideas long believed outside of the realm of legitimate politics are penetrating deeply into the mainstream, spawning public policies that target immigrants, LGBTQ people and Muslims,” the report states.
These policies, according to advocates, include the reinstatement of the transgender military ban, the elimination of nondiscrimination protections for trans people in homeless shelters and, the deletion of "sexual orientation" from the Interior Department’s anti-discrimination guidelines. Shannon Minter, legal director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, said this “pattern of escalating attacks has put the LGBT movement on the defensive” and caused advocacy groups to invest a “tremendous amount of resources to deal with these attacks.”
Minter pointed to the work being done at the state level to block what he called an “unprecedented blizzard of state laws” targeted at transgender people. These include efforts to prohibit transgender health care for minors, prevent trans students from participating in girls sports and barring trans people from changing the gender markers on their identification documents.
Fetner said most LGBTQ advocacy groups are funded at “a fraction of the Religious Right groups that were proposing these initiatives.” She said that means they’re “sucked into these battles where their very right to exist is on the table again,” and they’re “putting out fires that have been started by better resourced organizations.”
The SPLC report and LGBTQ advocates also connect the surge in “anti-LGBTQ hate groups” to violence against LGBTQ people.
The FBI’s most recent Hate Crime Statistics report, released in November, found nearly 20 percent of all reported hate crimes in 2018 were motivated by anti-LGBTQ bias. While reported anti-LGBTQ hate crimes grew from 2017 to 2018, the most growth was seen in reports of anti-trans violence, which increased 34 percent year-over-year.
“I don’t think the anti-LGBTQ movement will win, but the damage they can do along the way is substantial,” Fetner said. Despite this, she remains optimistic, saying, “The LGBTQ movement will carry on and will come out of it stronger.”

September 23, 2019

Gay Son in South Korea Told By Mom "I Don't Need A Son Like You"

In South Korea, being LGBTQ is often seen as a disability or a mental illness, or by powerful conservative churches as a sin. There are no anti-discrimination laws in the country and, as the BBC's Laura Bicker reports from Seoul, campaigners believe the abuse is costing young lives.
It was a company dinner that changed Kim Wook-suk's life as he knew it.

                           Anti-LGBT protesters at a rally in Seoul
A co-worker got drunk, slammed the table to get everyone's attention and outed 20-year-old Kim.
"It felt like the sky was falling down," Kim told me. "I was so scared and shocked. No-one expected it."
Kim (not his real name) was fired immediately, and the restaurant owner, a Christian protestant, ordered him to leave.

"He said homosexuality is a sin and it was the cause of Aids. He told me that he didn't want me to spread homosexuality to the other workers," says Kim.
But worse was to come. The restaurant owner's son visited Kim's mother to give her the news her son was gay.
"At that moment, she told me to leave the house and said I don't need a son like you. So I was kicked out."  

'Alienated and isolated'

Like so many other LGBTQ teenagers in South Korea, Kim Wook-suk had spent years carefully and quietly trying to hide his sexuality.

He was raised by a devout Protestant mother and taught that being gay meant burning in hell. He listened fearfully in the church as the pastor preached that homosexuality was a sin and encouraging it would bring disease. That's not an unusual sermon in a country where around 20% of the population belong to conservative churches.
But despite being fired and made homeless because of his sexuality, he holds out hope South Korea can change.

Anti-LGBT protesters at a rally in SeoulImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image caption

Christian anti-LGBT protesters are making their presence felt at gay events like here in Seoul
He proudly showed me his T-shirt with a special rainbow logo on it, one that calls for an anti-discrimination law. He believes this law will one day enable the LGBTQ community to come out into the open safely.

It may also save young lives.

A survey of under-18's in the LGBTQ community discovered that almost half - around 45% - have tried to commit suicide. More than half (53%) have attempted to self-harm. These figures have prompted the LGBT rights organization Chingusai - Between Friends - to run a helpline.
"They usually talk about feeling alienated, isolated, feeling like they are a burden to someone," says Dr. Park Jae-wan, who works in a hospital by day and volunteers to run the Connecting Hearts service at night.

"They feel distant as their teachers, friends, or family do not understand or are ignorant about what it means to be LGBTQ."

The day I met a ‘gay conversion therapist’

Why are some places gay-friendly and not others?
'My colleague asked to watch us having sex'
He believes a more permanent solution must be found to tackle the danger these young people face - and that involves fighting for a new law.

"We need to seriously think about how to embrace sexual minorities and think about what they need," he said.
Homosexuality may not be illegal in South Korea - since 2003 it is no longer classified as "harmful and obscene" - but discrimination remains widespread. Just under half of South Koreans don't want a gay friend, neighbor or colleague, according to one nationwide survey by The Korea Social Integration Survey. 

Media caption why holidays can be tough for S Korea's LGBT community

The proportion of gay and lesbian teenagers who have been exposed to violence is also high. A poll by the National Human Rights Commission of Korea found that 92% of LGBTQ people were worried about becoming the target of hate crimes.

Kim Wook-suk knows this all too well. His mother, he says, kept trying to "save him", but her actions meant he feared his own family at times.

"Using her church people, she tried to kidnap me multiple times to go through conversion therapy. I was forced to go through some of these therapies, however, there were times I manage to avoid them and escaped."

Kim was always looking over his shoulder. He was in alone in a park late at night when he was approached by a man who told him homosexuality was an unforgivable sin and he should return home to his parents, before beating him with a bamboo stick.

He believes his own mother may have ordered the assault as a form of "shock therapy".
"Establishing an anti-discrimination law will send a message to society that people should not be treated differently based on their sexual orientations," says Cho Hyein, an LGBTQ lawyer at Hope and Law, when I tell her Kim's story.

"When a society sets principles, for instance, schools will be able to set responsive measures when kids are bullied. Right now in South Korea, we don't have institutionalized measures to respond to discriminatory situations."

'We should stop them going to hell'

The LGBTQ community has been pushing for change since 2007, and their voices are becoming bolder.

But the same can be said for the opposite side. The Protestant Christian Community is so concerned that homosexuality will be accepted in South Korea that it has decided to hold its first "real love" event in Busan - just a month after the Queer Festival organizers were forced to cancel their own event in the city.

In a statement to the BBC, they said LGBTQ people were "unethical and abnormal" so their discrimination was "the right kind of discrimination".

Woman shouts through a megaphone at Incheon Queer Festival
A woman shouts through a megaphone at Incheon Queer Festival
Menorah said she felt a responsibility to stop LGBTQ people "from going to hell"
In September, this influential church group turned up at the Queer Festival in Incheon, South Korea's second-biggest city, in their thousands.

They waved paper fans which said NO to homosexuality and YES to "real love". A huge screen was placed near the Queer Festival square blasting a warning video claiming that encouraging homosexuality would spread Aids and cost taxpayers millions.

Getting to the Queer Festival square involved squeezing through lines of protestors offering a barrage of verbal abuse.
"Homosexuality is a country-ruining disease," one man told me. "If you commit a homosexual act, the country will perish."

Among the protestant Christians was Menorah. All-day, until dark, she yelled through her megaphone from different positions around Incheon.

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I asked her why she was shouting at these festival-goers.

"Because we are Christians. We are not here to blame other people, because we really love our neighbors. Just watching them going to hell is not true love. If we truly loved them, we should say the good news and stop them from going to hell."

I put it to her that perhaps she should listen to them rather than shout at them. But she was adamant.
"If we just proclaim our love of Jesus Christ softly, that is not going to work.

"True love is to stop them from going to hell. We should shout because we don't have time. It is an emergency problem."

Two Western men kiss at the Incheon Queer festival

Two Western Men kiss at the Incheon Queer festival

But as the protesters yelled, two foreigners opted to show their solidarity by kissing in public outside the Festival square. 
Two foreigners opted to show their solidarity in Incheon by kissing in front of protesters
Last year, however, the event took a more violent turn. A number of protestors attacked the parade and prevented the festival-goers from marching through the streets.

This year, the police recruited around 3,000 officers to protect just a few hundred people from the LGBTQ community who felt brave enough to join in the event. The presence of embassy staff from the world meant that the police had to ensure the safety of the event.
'The hate is overboard'

South Korea appears to be far less tolerance of the LGBTQ community than its East Asian neighbors.
Taiwan legalized same-sex marriage last year - the first country in Asia to do so. Meanwhile, Japan has elected its first openly gay lawmaker, and despite the current political opposition, a survey found that 78% of people aged 20 to 60 favored legalizing same-sex marriage.

In July, Ibaraki Prefecture became the first of Japan's 47 prefectures to issue partnership certificates for LGBT individuals, raising hope that other prefectures would follow.
The difference in South Korea is a large number of influential protestant groups - although they are not all fighting against expanding rights for the country's LGBQ community.

Pastor Lim BoraImage copyrightPARK KIM HYUNG-JOON

Pastor Lim Bora
Pastor Lim Bora says conservative churches are using anti-LGBT sentiment to rally their supporters

Pastor Lim Bora, of the Hyanglin Seomdol congregation in Seoul, is from one of the few South Korean protestant sects which accept LGBTQ rights. She believes the vocal opposition to an anti-discrimination law is a way of rallying congregations just as the number of church-goers starts to decline.

"The church has used this to unite the congregation. In history, you can see how if you put forth a strong enemy, people will rally and unite behind it. So I think this is why the hate towards homosexuality is overboard."

She has been branded a heretic for her views.
"Regardless of religion, I think an anti-discrimination law should be a basic law for basic human rights. I just hope it becomes a reality soon." 

Media caption Gar South Korean soldier: "I'm constantly afraid"
It may be Kim Wook-suk's best hope at a normal life. In his 20s now, Kim has a partner, and together they dream that one-day South Korean society will accept them as a couple.

He is back on speaking terms with his mother, but they have to limit their conversations.
"She still can't accept me for who I am," he says. "She still thinks a man loving another man is wrong. But I no longer try to argue about this with my mom."

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