Korean Americans React to Supreme Court’s Gay Marriage Rulings

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Knowing that the Supreme Court would be making a decision on DOMA and Prop 8 this month, KoreAm‘s June issue featured a story focused on revisiting the issue of same-sex marriage and LGBTQ acceptance within the Korean American context. After the Suprem Court announced its rulings, KoreAm turned to some of the Korean Americans we talked to previously to hear what they had to say.

Clara Yoon, the mother of a transgendered man and first-generation Korean American, said she was “beyond ecstatic” and “shed some tears.”

“My heart swelled with happiness for our children and others in the community,” Yoon said, via email. “Today’s decision gives me hope that there is progress being made for LGBTQ equality.”

For some, the decision also meant very practical changes. Jeff Kim pointed to the financial and tax benefits people will now be able to take advantage of, as well as immigration rights for bi-national couples.

“Hopefully, marriage equality will now move onto the rest of the country via the courts,” he said. Kim was in transit to Sacramento and said he would try and find a place in the city to celebrate the occasion.

And Paul Park, the Korean American man who married his long-term partner, Dean Larkin, in 2008 in West Hollywood right after George Takei said his vows, told KoreAm he was “ecstatic.”

“I’m inspired to be living in an age with opportunity and recognition,” Park said. “On a lighter note, I once said in an interview that if my marriage was invalidated I might have to leave the country…I guess I don’t have to worry about that right now.”

Park and Larkin have two children, twins, Berkeley and Avila.