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In A Landmark Ruling, South Korea Has Overturned The Jail Sentences Of Two Gay Soldiers Who Had Sex

In a landmark ruling, the South Korean supreme court has overturned the conviction of two gay soldiers, who had sexual intercourse during their military service.
In 2016, a military court sentenced an army lieutenant and a sergeant to suspended prison terms for violating the 1962 Military Criminal Act, which prohibits same-sex relationships between military personnel.
south korea military gay sex soldiers
Same-sex relationships are not illegal in South Korea, but under the Military Criminal Act, soldiers who perform “anal sex and other indecent acts” could be sentenced up to two years in prison.
south korea military gay sex soldiers
The two soldiers were among a group of at least nine others convicted for having same-sex relationships as military personnel in 2017.
south korea military gay sex soldiers
Considering the relationship was consensual, occurred off duty, and at a private setting, the court ruled on Thursday April 21 that the conviction infringed upon a person’s right to sexual self-determination.
south korea military gay sex soldiers

“Punishing these incidents could… infringe upon the right to equality, the dignity and value as human and the right to pursue happiness as guaranteed by the Constitution,” the South Korean supreme court said, according to Reuters.

Human rights groups have long criticized the law for its outdated ideology and fearing it would cause further discrimination towards gay soldiers.
south korea military gay sex soldiers

The South Korean military has been criticized for their discrimination against sexual minorities.

Openly gay men in military are classified as people with “special needs”.

Last year, the death of South Korea’s first transgender soldier, who was dismissed from the military for undergoing gender reassignment surgery, caused an outpour of anger from citizens.
south korea military gay sex soldiers
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