LGBT Korean American groups denounce Jung’s comments

S.J. Jung at a campaign rally in July.
S.J. Jung at a campaign rally in July.

After word got out that State Senate candidate S.J. Jung not only opposed abortions in most cases, but that he also wanted to erase same-sex couples from school textbooks, LGBT Korean American organizations condemned his remarks.

“S.J. Jung’s backwards remarks about LGBTQ people are out of sync with a place as diverse as Queens, which has a vibrant LGBTQ community,” the statement says. “As LGBT Korean Americans, their family members and their allies, we are deeply disappointed to see a man who has done such important work in Korean American communities express such bigotry around LGBTQ communities, marriage and public education.”

“His harmful wish to literally erase LGBTQ people from school textbooks ignores the existence of people like us and our families, who live every day at the intersection of LGBTQ and Korean identities.”

The statement was signed on by Asian American LGBT organizations including: Dari Project, Korean Americans United for Equality (KUE), Korean American Rainbow Parents (KARP), Korean Americans for Political Advancement (KAPA), Asian Pacific Islander Project of PFLAG NYC, National Queer Asian American and Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA), Gay Asian and Pacific Islander Men of New York (GAPIMNY), Q-Wave and Asian Pride Project.

Jung previously led the MinKwon Center, a social services organization serving the large Asian and Asian American populations in northeast Queens, as the executive director from 1989 to 1994. He also served as the organization’s president from 2006 to 2014.

In 2014, Jung challenged incumbent State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, and garnered nearly 42 percent of the vote. He also lost a City Council race to succeed former Councilman John Liu back in 2009.

“When community leaders like Jung make homophobic and transphobic remarks, it is absolutely devastating to young people in their communities who are struggling to come out,” the statement says. “As a community leader, Jung has a moral responsibility to be a voice for these LGBTQ young people – not a megaphone for outdated bigotry.”

“We urge Jung to think long and hard about the damaging impact of his words, reevaluate the positions he has taken, and meet with the organizations that have signed onto this statement,” the statement says.

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