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Daegu Mayor announces legal dispute surrounding clashes in Daegu Queer Festival

July 12, 2023 - 15:34 By Lim Jae-seong
Pride parade participants and anti-LGBTQ+ demonstrators are seen at the Daegu Queer Culture Festival in Dongseong-ro, central Daegu, on June 17. (Yonhap)

Daegu Mayor Hong Joon-pyo announced on Wednesday that he will file criminal complaints against Daegu Queer Festival operators and Daegu Police over the injury of city officials and occupation of public roads at the annual LGBT pride parade held on June 17, which the mayor claims was illegal.

Hong on Wednesday said he would bring queer rights advocates and Daegu Police to justice for blocking traffic by occupying roads without the city's permission and causing injury to three city officials as they attempted to end the event, in a post on his Facebook account. Daegu city had dispatched 500 officials to end the event.

Hong’s action came as a response to an accusation filed against him and Daegu’s Vice Mayor Lee Jong-hwa by the Daegu Queer Festival Organizing Committee and Daegu People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy for hindering the event.

The civic groups claim that Hong infringed on people’s constitutional freedom of assembly and demonstration, in addition to obstructing the police’s activities to secure the festival.

Daegu City has argued that the event which took place on Dongseong-ro street in the city's downtown was illegal, as it did not receive the city's permission to occupy the public road in advance.

But the civic groups and the police have maintained that the law does not require such permission if a demonstration is legally reported to the authorities.

Calling the groups and police accomplices of “illegal and obstinate demonstration,” Hong stressed that he will prevent the recurrence of similar events.

Meanwhile, Hong has publicly expressed his negative view of LGBT festivals, stating in a Facebook post on June 8: “I also object to queer festivals that can instill the wrong sex culture among teenagers.”