Despite rainy weather, an estimated 85,000 people took the streets of Seoul on Saturday for Korea’s Pride parade, the largest in the event’s 17-year-history.
The Korean capital started hosting Pride in 2000, as part of the first Korea Queer Cultural Festival. Only 50 people attended, but since then the event has grown steadily: In 2016, there were some 50,000 participants and spectators.
Homosexuality isn’t illegal in South Korea, but the LGBT community still faces widespread stigma, and most queer South Koreans remain closeted, even to friends and family.
In 2015, organizers had to go to court to overturn a police ban on the march and, last May, a court rejected a gay couple’s marriage equality lawsuit.
Thousands of Christian counter-demonstrators showed up at Seoul Plaza on Saturday, even trying to physically block the event at one point.
— Nolene Dougan (@NoleneDougan) July 16, 2017
“We do not want them to showcase homosexuality in public, which can corrupt the minds of our children,” Pastor Hong Ho-soo, secretary general of the Homosexuality Countermeasure Council for Korean Churches, told the South China Morning Post. “It’s okay to celebrate whatever you are at home or privately. Just don’t do it in front of others.”
Proving that not all religious groups oppose homosexuality, Buddhist monks marched in support of equality—and even busted out some celebratory dance moves.
And Jesus said it was alright with him, too.
View more images from Seoul Pride 2017 below.