South Korean government rejects visa request from same-sex marriage couple
Justice ministry says a national consensus on same-sex marriage is needed
By Jung Min-ho
The South Korean government has declined to issue a marriage immigration visa (F-6) to a British man who married his Korean male partner in Britain three years ago.
The Ministry of Justice said Sunday it recently turned down Simon Williams-Im’s request for the visa, saying Korean laws do not recognise same-sex marriages.
“Whether a nation or a society accepts, same-sex marriage needs a careful and comprehensive consideration of many factors, such as interpretation of constitutional values regarding the definition of marriage … And it requires national consensus,” the ministry said in response to Williams-Im after he sent his request to President Moon Jae-in.
Same-sex marriages and civil unions are not legally recognised here, though some members of the National Assembly proposed a bill to legalise such partnerships several years ago.
In a highly publicised case, actor Kim Jho Gwang-soo and his male partner Kim Seung-hwan filed a lawsuit in 2013 after the Seodaemun District Office in Seoul declined to accept their marriage registration, only to be rejected by the Seoul Western District Court in 2016.