South Korea: Gay rights supporters parade amid rain, protests in Seoul

Thousands of people celebrated gay rights with song, dance and a march in Seoul Saturday, amid rain and boisterous protests by conservative Christians.

Religious South Koreans have been a loud fixture at the annual parade for years, holding a rival anti-homosexuality rally while trying to physically block the march. Some 2,000 police troops lined up around a square outside the City Hall, where revellers gyrated and waved flags as scantily-clothed performers sang and danced on the stage.

Their presence is the most visible display of intolerance towards sexual minorities in the tradition-bound society, where religious belief is widespread and many homosexuals stay in the closet due to fear of discrimination and social isolation.

Homosexuality is not illegal in South Korea. But gay, lesbian or transgender rights remain politically unpopular

But festival-goers took the protest in their stride. The crowd, estimated to be some 10,000, later paraded through the centre of Seoul, carrying banners and rainbow flags, with many swaying on open truck beds. Read more via Pulse