LGBTI rights have expanded over the past 20 years in western democracies, and in many cases now include the right to same-sex marriage, South Korea lags behind. To put this in perspective, The Guardian in 2014 reported on five LGBTI laws around the world – consensual sex, workplace non-discrimination, marriage, adoption and protection against hate crimes – and found that South Korea only allowed consensual sex.
The law forbids discrimination based on race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, and social status, but not discrimination based on language or gender identity. There is no enforcement mechanism in the law, and it does not protect migrant workers against racial discrimination, pregnant women against employment discrimination, or pregnant... Expand
The law forbids discrimination based on race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, and social status, but not discrimination based on language or gender identity. There is no enforcement mechanism in the law, and it does not protect migrant workers against racial discrimination, pregnant women against employment discrimination, or pregnant school-age girls against being denied an education.
In February 2013, following the recommendation of the UN Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review, legislators prepared comprehensive antidiscrimination legislation. The legislation was withdrawn, however, due to aggressive lobbying, primarily from conservative religious groups opposed to efforts to provide protection to gays and pregnant women.
The Ministry of Justice reported the constitution’s equality principles apply to LGBT persons. The law that established the NHRC prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and authorizes the NHRC to review cases of such discrimination, but the law does not specify discrimination based on gender identity. From 2010 to 2013, four provincial education offices adopted Student Rights’ Decrees that prohibit discrimination in schools, including that based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
No laws either specify punishment for persons found to discriminate against LGBT persons or provide for remedies to victims of discrimination or violence. During the first half of the year, the NHRC reported eight cases of such alleged discrimination.
While there were no known cases of violence against LGBT persons during the year, LGBT individuals and organizations continued to face societal discrimination. In June conservative Christian groups obstructed gay cultural festivals in Seoul and Daegu. In May the Seodaemun District Office in Seoul cancelled the approval of the Queer Cultural Festival. Although the NHRC ruled in June the cancellation violated freedom of assembly and equal rights, the district mayor did not reverse the decision.
The Military Criminal Act criminalizes consensual sodomy between men in the military with up to two years’ imprisonment.
LGBT groups kept a very low profile because same-sex relationships were not widely accepted. For example, few entertainers were openly gay, and one who was “outed” claimed various entertainment organizations fired him as a result. The legality of the 2013 same-sex wedding of movie director Kim Jho Kwang-soo was under review by a local district court in Seoul.
Source: U.S. Department of State's  Human Rights Report
Whereas Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) rights have expanded over the past 20 years in western democracies, and in many cases now include the right to same-sex marriage, South Korea lags behind. To put this in perspective, The Guardian in 2014 reported on five LGBT laws around the world – consensual sex, workplace non-discrimination, marriage, adoption and protection against hate crimes – and found that South Korea only allowed consensual sex. Meanwhile, over four-fifths of European countries and a roughly a third of countries in the Americas had at least two of these laws. South Korea has no explicit law penalizing homosexuality in general, though the military still bans consensual sex. South Korea also maintains an increasingly visible LGBT community and yearly Pride festival and in August of 2017, South Korea’s Supreme Court ordered government agencies to allow an LGBT rights organization to register as a charity.
South Korea’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community is hungry for recognition and is encouraged by the progress countries like Taiwan and the United States have made on marriage equality, local activists said Sunday. At the 10th annual sexual minorities human rights forum at South Korea’s Yonsei University, Jang Seo-hyeon, an attorney with GongGam Human Rights Law Foundation, said a recent survey indicated 86 percent of South Koreans in the LGBT community seeks the right to a legally recognized marriage.
In just a few days, hundreds of athletes will descend on Pyeongchang, South Korea, for the 2018 Winter Olympics, including a number of gay and lesbian Olympians. But what’s the state of LGBT equality in South Korea? Historically, the country’s conservative government and large Christian population has meant slow progress: In 2013, a Pew Research poll indicated almost 60% of Koreans believed society shouldn’t accept homosexuality.
Today, the global research firm IPSOS released the results of a 23 country survey, including the US, on attitudes toward transgender people. The data was collected online between October 24th and November 7th, 2017 and included the following countries: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Ecuador, France, Great Britain, Germany, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Poland, Russia, Serbia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, and the United States of America. For the purposes of this summary write-up, however, Ipsos has chosen to focus on findings from the 16 countries where internet penetration is sufficiently high to feel confident that the data is truly nationally representative
K-pop dominated the music scene in 2017 with boy band, BTS, becoming household names and chart-toppers on Billboard. However, one artist may be taking that spotlight with a new music video that showcases gay representation. K-pop singer Holland made headlines on Sunday with the release of his music video for his debut single, “Neverland.” The video caught viewers’ attention with its same-sex love story, that finds Holland sharing a romantic beach day with his male lover and baring hs sexuality for the world to see. Despite, being praised across the world and garnering over 1.6 million views on YouTube, the video has been met with controversy. According to HuffPost, Korea gave the video a 19-plus rating due to the kiss that is shared between the two lovers at the end of the clip.
The U.S. Olympic team competing in South Korea this year will have more out LGBTI athletes than have ever represented the nation at a Winter Olympics, and that contingent now potentially includes one of the biggest stars for the games. Here’s a second installment from The Advocate on what’s happening with gay sports leading into PyeongChang
A bisexual Ugandan woman’s application for refugee status failed to clear the [South Korean] Supreme Court hurdle. It marks the second time a lower-court verdict in favor of recognizing refugee status for an LGBT individual was reversed by the Supreme Court, after a case last year involving a gay Egyptian man.
Korean Superstar Kim Jong-Hyun 'Trolled by Far-Right Conservatives' for Supporting LGBT Fans Before Apparent Suicide
Korean boyband star Kim Jong-Hyun had faced a barrage of vicious tweets and social media messages for his support of 'sexual minorities' - including lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people. The 27-year-old lead singer of K-Pop group SHINee, who died in a suspected suicide today, came under attack in 2013 after publicly supporting a transgender student who had been posting handwritten messages around the grounds of Korea University criticising the social suppression of LGBT people. In response to the student's actions, which was part of a project called How Are You?, Kim - better known by his stage name Jonghyun - had changed his Twitter profile picture to one of the hand-penned signs reading, "I am not OK".
The first LGBT festival to take place in Busan this weekend is hiking up tensions between pro- and anti-LGBT groups, according to Haeundae Police on Tuesday. The possibility of clashes between the two groups is putting local police on high alert. The festival will start at 10 a.m. Saturday at Haeundae beach. There will also be a parade that begins at 4 p.m. and will go around adjacent areas before ending at Gunam-ro Culture Square, which leads back to the beachfront.
Currently no Stories
The following organization(s) conducts its own work in this country to improve the lives of lgbti people there and/or funds local organizations doing that work. Please click on the link to learn more about them and support their work.
Currently no Organizations
Currently no Programs