Thursday, July 11, 2019

Sex and service in Korea

Today's New York Times has this report about military justice policies in South Korea with respect to gay sex. Gay personnel may now serve openly, but sex? Not so much.
South Korea’s military says it does not discriminate against sexual minorities. But [Lieut.] Kim is one of an increasing number of gay or transgender soldiers who have been persecuted under Article 92-6 of the Army Criminal Act, which has been used to out them and punish them for consensual sex, Amnesty International said in a report released on Thursday.

Under Article 92-6, “anal sex and other indecent acts” between military personnel can be punished by up to two years in prison, even if they take place off base, while the soldiers are off duty and by mutual consent. Repeated attempts by advocates for L.G.B.T. and intersex people to abolish the law have been unsuccessful.

“South Korea’s military must stop treating L.G.B.T.I. people as the enemy,” said Roseann Rife, East Asia research director at Amnesty International. The group’s report, “Serving in Silence,” also details sexual and other abuses inflicted on gay soldiers, or soldiers perceived as gay, by their superiors and their fellow soldiers.

“It is long overdue for the military to acknowledge that a person’s sexual orientation is totally irrelevant to their ability to serve,” Ms. Rife said.

The South Korean government says Article 92-6 is not meant to punish sexual orientation. Rather, it says, it is needed to deter sexual abuse in the army, which is almost entirely male. The country’s Constitutional Court has repeatedly ruled that the article is justified by the military’s need to preserve discipline and “combat power.”
Amnesty International's report can be found here

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