Methodist Church Expels Pastor Who Gave Blessings at Pride Parade

Pastor Lee Dong-hwan has stood up for LGBTQ+ rights.

Methodist Church Expels Pastor Who Gave Blessings at Pride Parade

Photo: Pastor Lee Dong-hwan (center). Credit: Lee Dong-hwan's Facebook page.

On March 4, the Korean Methodist Church 기독교대한감리회 upheld its decision to expel Pastor Lee Dong-hwan 이동환 for giving blessings at the 2019 Incheon Queer Culture Festival 인천 퀴어문화축제. In the intra-church appellate proceedings, the church tribunal denied Lee’s appeal, in which the church’s witnesses advocated for conversion therapy.

The 43-year-old Lee has long been involved in labor union advocacy, and has represented the religious community in various strikes since 2013. Lee recalls that a church member who came out to him in 2014 became the catalyst of change for his previous views on homosexuality. After Lee first gave blessings at the 2019 Incheon Pride parade, the Korean Methodist Church suspended him for two years. Undeterred, Lee continued to attend and give blessings at other Pride parades, until the church expelled him. 

In February 2023, after being expelled in the first Methodist church trial, Lee filed a lawsuit challenging his expulsion with the Seoul Central District Court 서울중앙지방법원. Lee argued in the lawsuit that while the law typically stays away from adjudicating a church’s internal matters, the church’s proscription against homosexuality violated the constitutional rights of conscience, expression and religion. The suit is currently pending.

Share Tweet Send
You've successfully subscribed to The Blue Roof
Great! Next, complete checkout for full access to The Blue Roof
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.