South Korea, Asia

Korea (north and south) is one of the oldest civilizations in the world. Seoul, the capital of South Korea, is a major global city and a leading international financial center in Asia, and is the second largest metropolitan city in the world. Following the Korean War, the South Korean economy grew significantly, transforming the country into a major economic power and one of the wealthiest countries in Asia. It is a developed country with a high standard of living.

Homosexuality in South Korea is not specifically mentioned in either the South Korean Constitution or in the Civil Penal Code. Article 92 of the Military Penal Code, however, singles out sexual relations between members of the same sex as "sexual harassment", hence punishable by a maximum of one year servitude. See gay rights in South Korea.


News & Reports:


LGBT forum in Korea faces resistance

Attempts to discuss Christian attitudes toward gay people at the World Council of Churches (WCC) meeting held in Busan were derailed by resistance to engaging with the issue, according to one of its key organizers on Tuesday. In a country where a number of protestant groups continue to be a source of high-volume bigotry, the… Read more »

Gay South Korean film director marries his partner in public

Seoul(Reuters) – Gay South Korean film director Kim Jho Gwang-soo symbolically married his long-term partner on Saturday, with the couple exchanging vows on a bridge, though same-sex marriage remains illegal in the conservative Asian country. Dressed in white, Kim and his partner of nine years, Kim Seung-hwan, staged an ceremony on a stage overlooking a… Read more »

South Korea easing homophobic views on news of gay ‘wedding’

South Korea appears to be becoming more accepting of gays following news that one of its movie directors is set to marry his boyfriend. The first time a South Korean celebrity announced he was gay, in 2000, the reaction was quick and without empathy. Popular actor and entertainer Hong Suk-chon was banished from television and… Read more »

Over hundred LGBT South Koreans and allies record video against gay hate

in Korea, Republic Of, Korean Gay Men’s Human Rights Group Chingusai organized the recording of You Make me Proud, a song created by Sydney Gay and Lesbian choir to mark IDAHO (International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia) in 2012. ‘[The song] conveys the conviction that, just as LGBT people affirm and recover their lives and… Read more »

Over hundred LGBT South Koreans and allies record video against gay hate

YouTube video released for IDAHO (International Day Against homophobia and transphobia) Over 100 South Korean LGBT people and allies star in a YouTube video in support of gay rights released this week (Monday 13 May). Korean Gay Men’s Human Rights Group Chingusai organized the recording of You Make me Proud, a song created by Sydney… Read more »

Landmark Trans Victory In Korea

in Korea, Republic Of, In South Korea five transgendered individuals won a landmark court case in Seoul to get officially gender recognized without the use of gender altering surgery. Korea Times reports that a court in Seoul has ruled that transgendered South Koreans can amend their gender on official documents without having to go through… Read more »

Gay South Korean film director to marry in bid to pry open closet

(Reuters) – A gay South Korean film director is set to symbolically marry his long-term partner, saying he aims to pry open the closet in this conservative Asian country where homosexuality is still taboo and gays have been subjected to hate crimes. Kim Jho Gwang-soo announced plans to marry his partner of nine years on… Read more »

South Korea: Court grants Ugandan lesbian refugee status after family killed due to her sexuality

A 27-year-old Ugandan woman has become the first person to be granted refugee status in South Korea due to their sexuality. The woman, who can not be named for legal reasons told a court that she feared for her life after her family members were killed by neighbours because she is a lesbian. The Korean… Read more »

Sex organ operation not vital to change gender

A Seoul court has Ruled that persons who undergo sex change operations can be recognized as the opposite without altering the sex organ for the first time in the country. According to a research organization specializing in sex change, a Seoul district court Ruled that while sex change operations involve the removal of wombs and… Read more »

Choe Seung-ja’s “Love in this Age”: Exploring a Modern Same-Sex Poet

At a time when media coverage of self-inflicted gun shots, hangings, and bridge-jumpings of bullied gay teens has sparked celebrity attention and Internet campaigns assuring suffering teens that “things will get better,” the “feelings”/emotional experiences of American LGBT teens have suddenly been brought into wider national consciousness. Fortunately, South Korea, at least until recently, has… Read more »

South Korea celebrates gay pride

This Saturday sees the 13th annual Korea Queer Love Festival in Seoul South Korea will celebrate gay pride on Saturday with the Korea Queer Love Festival (KQLF) in Hanbit Media Park in central Seoul. According to the website, this is the 13th KQLF in Seoul. Indicating the stigma around homosexuality in South Korea, people at… Read more »

“Homophobia, Transphobia is Violence”

in Korea, Republic Of, Today, May 17, is the day when the World Health Organization removed homosexuality from its list of mental diseases. It is also the International Day Against Homophobia. Today, LGBT people living in many countries around the world come out to the streets and rallies to convey the message that homophobia is… Read more »

Seoul Student Rights Ordinance passes with sexual orientation, gender identity protections

The Seoul Student Rights Ordinance that contains sexual orientation and gender identity protections, which are strongly opposed by religious groups, was passed on Monday. The Seoul Student Rights Ordinance with all its sexual orientation and gender identity-related (SOGI) clauses has been passed by the Seoul Metropolitan Council with 54 votes in favour, 28 against, and… Read more »

Inside North Korea’s First Family

The bizarre family psychodrama at the heart of North Korea’s brutal government is entering a new chapter with the death of Kim Jong il and the succession of his youngest son. The question now for many Korea-watchers: Will the new, untested, twenty-something leader, Kim Jong-un, declared today as “the Great Successor,” face a threat from… Read more »

Gay S. Korean conscript wins refugee status in Canada

Seoul (Yonhap) – Canada awarded a South Korean man refugee status after he objected to the mandatory military service in his home country for being a pacifist and a homosexual, a local human rights group said Thursday. The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) granted the status in July 2009 to Kim Kyung-hwan, 31,… Read more »

Heart & Seoul

Twenty-four stories above Seoul, I drape my arms over the the vertical ledge of a swimming pool like no other. Enclosed by glass walls, blinded by city lights and foreign symbols, I descend into the latest feat of Korean modern design and slowly resurface, savoring my last moments at the Park Hyatt Seoul. It is… Read more »

Being gay in South Korea

Ten years ago, an actor named Hong Suk-chun became the first mainstream celebrity in South Korea to come out. At the time, many thought that Hong’s revelation might usher in a new era of openness about sexuality in the traditionally conservative country. That hasn’t happened. It’s still very difficult to be gay in South Korea… Read more »

South Korea: online haven for gays

Seoul, South Korea — When Suh Eun-pil was being harassed at school last year because of rumors he was gay, the internet was one of the few places he felt safe. One website in particular, called Rateen, provided a haven from critical eyes and verbal abuse. Suh began visiting Rateen regularly, and six months later… Read more »

Gay South Korea News & Reports 2008-11

1 Seoul Policeman Comes Out, Fights Prejudice 1/08 2 South Korea Sees First Openly Gay Politician 3/08 3 Seoul’s spring forecast: More visibility for Korea’s queers 6/08 4 Gay Actor Found Dead in Apparent Suicide 10/08 5 South Korea asks court to retain ban on gays in the military 11/08 6 South Korea challenged over… Read more »

Gay South Korea News & Reports 2003-07

1 Life and Death in Queer Korea-Part I 3/03 2 Life and Death in Queer Korea-Part II 3/03 2a Military to End Punishment of Gay Soldiers 4/03 3 South Korea begins opening up to gays 4/03 4 Editorial: Rights of gay juveniles 5/03 5 Changing Patients’ Sexes, and Korean Mores 6/03 6 Showing gay pride,… Read more »

Korea, Republic of: Treatment of homosexuals, including legislation, availability of state protection and support services

Homosexuality is not criminalized in the Republic of Korea (South Korea) (Fridae 29 May 2009; ILGA May 2009; Gay Times n.d.), although various sources note that homosexuals face discrimination (ABC News 27 May 2009; The Korea Times 9 Dec. 2008; Fridae 9 Oct. 2008). In particular, gay rights sources claim that many gay Koreans believe… Read more »

Breaking the Gay Taboo in South Korea

Seoul, For most Koreans, “homosexuality” was not even in their vocabulary in 2000 when Hong Suk-Chun, a star entertainer at the time, declared publicly that he was gay. “They fired me; [It took] just one day,” Hong said, snapping his fingers. “I had a radio show, TV show and TV drama. I expected that, but… Read more »

Gay South Korea News & Reports 1999-2002

1 An Overview of the Gay Situation in Korea 11/99 2 Age-old prejudices challenged on stage: Hahahoho Club 8/00 3 Second queer filmfest (quietly) celebrates changing views 8/00 4 Gay actor Hong ‘coming back’ 12/00 5 Local gay and lesbian groups launch campaign to gain access to Internet 8/01 6 Entertainer Redefines Gender Identity 6/01… Read more »