There are conflicts about sexual minorities in SSU. ST talks about the issue.............................Ed
“Welcome to SSU, the sexual minority and the nonsexual minority!”
On March 28, a protest by ‘Stranger’, a club composed of sexual minorities, was held in front of the Student Union Building. SSU’s student service team did not approve it because of one section in the banner’s contents, leading to the “human banner” performance. To protect its identity as a Christian university and its founding ideology, SSU cannot allow a banner bearing ‘sexual minority.’ Furthermore, SSU sparked controversy over its discriminatory hiring after limiting the eligibility of new employees to Christians, as well as its crackdown on ‘Stranger.’
“SSU does not welcome ‘sexual minority,’ Soongsilians.”
In 2015, SSU made a similar decision. In November 2015, SSU reversed its licensing move from the previous day when ‘Stranger,’ along with the General Female Students Association, tried to screen My Fair Wedding, which featured the marriage of Kim Jo-gwangsu and Kim Seung-hwan at the Human Rights Film Festival.
“The National Human Rights Commission of Korea (NHRC) recognizes university autonomy, but there is a limit to restrictions on students’ basic rights.”
In January, the NHRC issued a recommendation to SSU. It said that the act of prohibiting the use of educational facilities for events involving sexual minorities constitutes an infringement of the right to equality, and that, in the future, it should not allow access to facilities based on sexual orientation. It is based on the fact that there are no regulations on sexual minority Soongsilians in SSU’s requirements in entrance examinations or school rules; that Christians may have different ideas about sexual minorities; and that among the universities established by religious organizations, there is a school that recognizes other religious club activities. The NHRC referred to Article 11 of the *Constitution in its decision on the discriminatory disallowance of classroom renting.
However, SSU argues that NHRC’s judgment is outside the boundaries of the Constitution. Considering that the current constitution prohibits same-sex marriage and homosexuality is subject to punishment in the military, the NHRC’s recommendation goes beyond the Constitution. It also says that the autonomy of universities as guaranteed by Article 31 of the Constitution comes first.
“We’re here, no matter what. There’s freedom, and one must not be persecuted.”
‘Stranger’ says that sexual minorities, including homosexuality, are not subject to agreement and disagreement, or consent and rejection. Kim Yoo-jung, chairman of “Stranger,” criticized SSU, saying, “I wonder if it’s a founding ideology of SSU that sexual minority Soongilians can’t borrow a lecture room, and can’t hang a banner at all.” She added, “SSU will continue to engage in discrimination that violates equal rights.”
Eventually, it directly ignited the protest at the Student Union Building, and the issue of banners alone is not the main reason for the conflict. It is an important matter that deals with individual identity or basic rights. SSU and sexual minority Soongsilians’ positions are very tense, and will not easily go away.
* All people are equal before the law. No one is discriminated against in all areas of political, economic, social and cultural life by gender, religion, or social status.
Lee Hae-been (News Editor)