South Korea lags behind Taiwan on LGBT rights

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07/05/2019

Taiwan’s recent same-sex marriage legalization may indicate a global trend towards greater LGBT tolerance, especially among developed democracies. South Korea, however, remains an outlier in this trend in spite of its vibrant democracy. Pro-LGBT organizations in South Korea were unable to register as charities as of 2015. The South Korean Court has only granted LGBT groups the right to register as tax-deductible charities two years ago, which finally allowed them to receive donations to carry out LGBT projects. No major political party has openly supported LGBT rights. Left-leaning politicians, including Seoul mayor Park Won-Soon and President Moon Jae-In had even backtracked their previous statements that were perceived as supporting the LGBT community. A few public opinion surveys differ from the government’s attitude. For example, over six waves of the World Values Survey (WVS), the percentage of respondents from South Korea claiming homosexuality to be never justifiable has declined by half since 1990, from 89.3 percent down to 42.2 percent in 2010.

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