Is Gay Marriage Legal In South Korea?

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Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people in South Korea face legal challenges and discrimination not experienced by non-LGBT people.

While male and female same-sex sexual activity is legal in South Korea, marriage or other forms of legal partnership are however not available to same-sex couples.

South Korean national law does not provide any anti-discrimination protections for LGBT individuals, nor does it prohibit hate crimes based on gender identity and sexual orientation.

Homosexuality remains quite taboo in South Korean society. Although homosexuality is not specifically mentioned in either the South Korean Constitution or in the Civil Penal Code, article 2 of the National Human Rights Commission Of Korea Act includes sexual orientation as one of the protected classes. Transgender or non-binary people in the country are excluded from military service.

Gay and lesbian South Koreans still face difficulties at home and work, and many prefer not to reveal their sexual orientation to family, co-workers, and friends out of fear of discrimination and being ostracized.

Is Gay Marriage Legal In South Korea?

Same-sex marriages and civil unions are not legally recognized in South Korea. In October 2019, the South Korean government announced that it would recognize the same-sex spouses of foreign diplomats, but it would not recognize the same-sex spouses of South Korean diplomats who serve overseas.


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