Homophobe Nation: Just Like America!

I delight in telling Koreans about ways in which their nation is just like the nation they love to hate: America.

I thought Andi would be all over this, but she isn’t, and though I am sick as hell (and about to sleep) I am posting a link to an article on the front page of today’s Korea Herald, which claims that Korea is not ready for gay marriages. No big surprise, of course. Some of the other laws governing marriage are even more medieval than those in the West. But it was striking that two old lesbians having lived together for over 21 years, splitting up, even entered the court system. It was at least enough a part of real life according to Korean society that it could be argued in court.

But oh I shall delight in telling Koreans about how their favorite bad-guy country’s bad-guy political party has the same opinion, and is using it to distract people from the issue of the war in Iraq.

(Yes, I know some Democrats are opposed to gay marriage too… but it’s a Republican distraction as it stands right now.)

Now I need to go collapse, as I am home ill from camp. Ungh.

9 thoughts on “Homophobe Nation: Just Like America!

  1. Yow, I haven’t even looked at a newspaper lately! (Head too deep in religion…) Thanks for getting this up. I’ll take a look and link over…

  2. Oddly enough I was talking about gay and lesbianism with my class yesterday. They told me that in their ‘all girls’ middle school you could usually see a lot of lesbian couples holding hands and kisssing secretly on campus.

    I wasn’t to suprised by this, since all girls schools are temples of debauchery, at least that’s what movies in the 80’s taught me…

  3. Gumbi,

    If you’re in Korea, well, then you know that girls holding hands means little. But kissing is something altogether different! I have heard of middle school “lesbian” circles that experiment with one another and also tend to be obsessed with homoerotic fanfic about boy pop stars. I would kind of doubt that this “lesbianism” is authentic, therefore, and guess it’s some kind of deferral; but it’s probably safer than messing about with boys at the same age, I think, so perhaps that’s understandable. Hmmm. Though I imagine a lot of parents would object to it altogether, I also imagine a lot of parents would deny the possibility even if it were ever raised to them. Just a hunch.

  4. Dear Gord,

    I doubt most people outside of Canada feel that the USA is a “homophobe” nation. In fact, my experience living in Korea, Malaysia, and Chile has taught me that the rest of the world believes America is completely open to homosexuality, that “gay pride” parades take place in small town America. The atrocities at Abu Ghraib only confirmed this view.

    As for Canada and the US, culturally, San Francisco and New York have more in common with Vancouver and Toronto than they do with Wyoming or Texas, which in turn have more in common with Alberta and Saskechewan. The border is not really what divides North America.

  5. Simon,

    No worries. I need to sort out trackbacks sometime… something funny is up with them on my site. I’ll look into it.


    When I say nation, I don’t refer to specific pockets of openmindedness, nor to the perceptions of the rest of the world. The average Korean, for example, probably misconceives America as being far more tolerant of homosexuality than it actually is. After all, homosexuality is (disingenuously, like whoring) considered to be something “foreigners” do.

    But the government itself, and a majority sizeable enough to keep it in power, is certainly anti-homosexuality. How else could “Gay Marriage” even begin to be an issue in the coming US election? How would the jury on the Gwen Araujo murder case be deadlocked by the “But I was so shocked that she used to be a man!” defense could be considered at all? How come even in LA there is still gay-bashing? There’s an answer: America may be more tolerant than other places in the world, with more tolerant and respectful individuals than other places (except Thailand, I suppose), but like Korea it’s a homophobe nation.

    By the way, I am certain Europeans are somewhat less sanguine about America than you imagine.

    By the way, credit to Adam Lipscomb at a violently executed blog for following the Araujo case.

    As for the question of what divides North America, I’ll grant you there are ways in which Saskatchewan people share more in common with those of Wyoming, or those of Alberta share with Texas; but at the same time, there is also a lot more than people from Saskatchewan share with Torontonians or Montrealers than they share with Americans. I should know, as I’ve lived all over Canada; I never saw anything in Canada that surprised me half as much as the average sign at the front of a Texan grocery store. There are things that are similar across the Canada-US border but I do believe Canadian culture is actually different from American. Right now I don’t feel like the work of enumerating the ways in a manner that won’t offend Americans, so I won’t bother.

  6. Gord,

    I’m curious, what was the sign you saw in Texas?

    I’m from Buffalo and feel more akin culturally and linguistically to folks from Ontario than I do with folks from the South, no matter what national loyalties I may have.

    I find it strange to be arguing that the US is tolerant of homosexuals, but how does one explain the popularity and acceptance of shows like “Will and Grace” and “Queer as Folk”?

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