ADDED ON: 03/23/2020

These South Korean women went abroad to get married. Then one spoke out at home, and the backlash began.

03/22/2020 | Washington Post

Kim Kyu-jin doesn’t describe herself as an activist. That’s a label that tends to scare people in South Korea’s conformist society. She sees herself as just a working woman who wanted to get married to the person she loves. Same-sex marriage is not recognized in South Korea, so Kim and her fiancee flew to New York last year to tie the knot in a Manhattan marriage bureau. Then they returned home and celebrated just like any ordinary South Korean couple — with what is known as a “factory wedding,” a cookie-cutter ceremony. Kim and her spouse, who requested anonymity to avoid possible problems with her employer, wore flowing white dresses. “By doing a factory wedding, I thought that I might give a message: that we’re just people, we’re just Koreans, we just want to get married like everyone else,” she said. “So it was a political choice.” Kim, 28, started giving interviews, including during prime time on national broadcaster KBS and another on the main news page of KakaoTalk, South Korea’s leading messaging app. “I thought that this would influence society and the government,” she said. “So I did it for my own good.” Then came the backlash.


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