A queer festival organizing committee in South Gyeongsang Province filed for a permit to hold the festival, an event advocating equality for sexual minorities, in Changwon on Nov. 30, police said Sunday.
If permission is granted, it will be the festival’s first run in the largely conservative province.
The committee sought to hold the festival in the public square in front of Changwon City Hall, estimating that almost 4,000 people would gather there.
A conservative civic group also requested a permit to use the same venue on the same day in an apparent attempt to stage a counter-rally.
The annual event has grown significantly since it first took place in Seoul in 2000 in the artsy district of Daehangno.
The queer festival expanded to Busan and Jeju Island in 2017. Last year, Incheon, Gwangju and Jeonju, North Jeolla Province, held pride festivals for the first time.
This year’s Pride parade in Seoul, which was held July 15 as part of the annual Queer Culture Festival, drew some 70,000 people, a record high.
Sexual minorities still live largely on the fringes of South Korean society, though the country has become more accepting in recent years.
According to the 2018 Korea Social Integration Survey conducted on 8,000 adults by the Korea Institute of Public Administration, those who said they “cannot accept homosexuals” accounted for less than 50 percent of the total for the first time in the survey’s history.
Those who said they could not accept homosexuals accounted for 62.1 percent of survey respondents in 2013, 56.9 percent in 2014, 57.7 percent in 2015, 55.8 percent in 2016 and 57.2 percent in 2017.
By Ock Hyun-ju (firstname.lastname@example.org