A lawsuit filed by a prominent South Korean couple has been dismissed by authorities. A lawsuit filed by a prominent gay film director and his partner seeking legal status for their same-sex marriage was rejected by a South Korean district court yesterday in the first case of its kind.
Movie director Kim Jho Gwang-Soo and his long-time partner Kim Seung-Hwan, held a wedding ceremony in Seoul in 2013 and recently submitted their marriage registration form to their local authority – only for it to be rejected.
“Circumstances have changed concerning marriage, but unless there is separate legislation, a same sex union cannot be recognised as marriage under the existing legal system”, the Seoul western district court said in a statement. “Related laws, including the constitution and civil law, are premised on the notion of a conjugal bond meaning a union involving different sexes,” it added.
The couple’s lawyer Ryu Min-Hee said the lawsuit had argued that civil law should be viewed through a “gender-neutral” prism that upheld equal rights provisions in the constitution. “When in doubt, all laws should be interpreted in a constitutional way,“ she said. “We’re disappointed but we’re not done yet,” she added.