December 11, 2023
SEOUL – LGBTQ+ rights groups have launched a fundraiser for the Rev. Lee Dong-hwan, who was expelled from the Korean Methodist Church for blessing gay people at a queer festival, the groups said in a statement Sunday.
Groups including the South Korean Coalition for Anti-Discrimination Legislation and Rainbow Jesus — a group consisting of Christians in the LGBTQ+ community — vowed to support Lee “all the way.” The groups are conducting a fundraiser for the fees required for the judicial process within the church.
Many churches in South Korea require fees for the judicial process, and Lee has to pay 7 million won ($5,300) in order to appeal the case.
The judicial committee of the Gyeonggi Province branch of the church on Friday sentenced Lee to expulsion, the highest degree of punishment for the Korean Methodist Church. The committee claimed Lee had violated the church law that states one shall not “agree or sympathize with homosexuality.”
Lee received a two-year suspension from the KMC for blessing a same-sex couple in 2019, and founded Christian LGBTQ+ rights group Q&A in April of last year.
He told the media after the committee’s decision that it was expected, and vowed to continue engaging with the church.