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.
February 27 / New Lens