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News: Report Exposes Abuse of Gay and Trans Soldiers in South Korea

(Photo Credits: Somchai Kongkamsri from Pexels)

Amnesty International is urging South Korea to decriminalize consensual gay sex in the military following the release of their report titled, “Serving in silence: LGBTI people in South Korea’s military.” 

In South Korea, homosexuality is legal for civilians. However, having “anal sex and other indecent acts” with another military personnel is a crime under Article 92-6 of the Military Criminal Act and is punishable by up to two years in prison.   

Researchers who conducted 21 in-depth interviews among former, current, and future LGBTQ soldiers at the time of the study found that the aforementioned South Korean military code has resulted in “violence, discrimination and stigmatization against gay soldiers.” For instance, one of the interviewees called “U” witnessed the sexual abuse of a fellow soldier. Naturally, the victim wanted to report his abuser (who also happened to be his superior) and thereby enlisted U’s help but the superior heard about the imminent report and thus began threatening U. Worse, U was “subjected to physical violence and humiliation for three hours, which included being forced to have oral and anal sex with the original victim while the senior soldier made taunting remarks, such as: “Don’t you want to have sex with a woman-like man?” You may read U’s full story here including that of many others as well.

Roseann Rife, Amnesty International’s East Asia Research Director, called for South Korea’s military to “stop treating LGBTI people as the enemy.” She also explained that outlawing same-sex sexual activity is “devastating for the lives of so many LGBTI soldiers and has repercussions in the broader society.” Lastly, she added, “It is long overdue for the military to acknowledge that a person’s sexual orientation is totally irrelevant to their ability to serve.”

In South Korea, a minimum of 21-month military service is mandatory for male citizens between the ages of 18 and 28. Their society is said to be highly conservative and a study conducted by Gallup Korea in 2017 showed that only 34% of South Koreans are for same-sex marriage as opposed to 58% who are against.  


There are 9 comments

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  1. franz

    I knew an ex-army queen that told me every morning around 4;30-5isssh he would have sex in the shower with another military guy and they never got caught in 2yrs…HOT..haha.

  2. Matt

    And to those of us who are not citizens of the country, what business is this of ours? #NONE The Koreans have to deal with this themselves. Expressing our opinions and “shoulding” all over it would be hubristic.

  3. Nathan

    Nathan writes:

    The blog is about the injustices of those who are part of the Korean Military yet those men in the picture are, obviously, Caucasian soldiers.

    Write about an “Oxymoron”!

  4. Hunter0500

    This practice has been reported about several times in over the last two years by major global news outlets. Amnesty International hasn’t exposed anything new. The South Korean Military has been unphased by previous reports. There are no reports that other goernments have exerted any pressure on South Korea to change its Military law.

    Is it time to call in George Clooney?

  5. NATHAN

    HUNTER0500:

    YOU ARE CORRECT; HOWEVER, WHAT MOST AMERICANS DO NOT SEEM TO UNDERSTAND IS: KOREANS ARE ONE OF THE MOST “ETHNOCENTRIC” CULTURES ON EARTH. THEY, AS THE JAPANESE, DO NOT GIVE A HOOT ABOUT WESTERN CULTURE AS WESTERN CULTURE HAS ALREADY INVADED THEIR CULTURES…PARTICULARLY, THE JAPANESE CULTURE…BEGINNING WITH THE “OCCUPATION” OF JAPAN, IN 1946.

    WHAT IS BEING OBSERVED IS THE ASIAN CULTURES’ PERCEPTION OF MASCULINITY & FEMININITY…ACCORDING TO ASIAN CULTURE NOT WESTERN CULTURE. ASIANS HAVE NEVER BEEN OUTWARDLY TOLERANT ABOUT HOMOSEXUALITY ALTHOUGH HOMOSEXUALITY EXISTS WITHIN THEIR CULTURE; IT IS PART-OF THEIR “CONDITIONAL MORALITY”; IT DEPENDS ON WHETHER YOU ARE CAUGHT OR NOT.

    I WAS IN JAPAN, BOTH AT OKINAWA AND TOKYO…ASIANS CAN HAVE BOTH BLIND EYES AND DEAF EARS…AS LONG AS IT IS NEITHER IN THEIR FACES OR IN “PUBLIC DOMAIN.”

  6. Nathan

    LIBERTARIAN QUEER:

    Your observation may be correct…as the lettering is most obscured by the flap of his pouch. It is either Hebrew or possibly, Arabic or some variance of either?

    I am glad that you concurred with what I originally wrote; now, comment on what I wrote to HUNTER0500.


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