Korean Lawmakers Propose Scrapping Anti-Sodomy Law

After ten members of the National Assembly presented a bill that would eliminate criminal penalties for sex between homosexuals in the military, the protest online was harsh and unanimous. Critics claimed that the South Korea military, which has been the scene of infamous physical abuse in recent years, will now become even more dangerous as gay senior officers are able to take advantage of new recruits.

Some netizens accused the lawmakers of using the issue to score political points. Notably, the ten sponsors of the law included representatives from all of the major opposition parties but no members of the ruling Saenuri Party.

Article from Newsis:

Proposal to Remove Military Code that “Punishes Homosexual Sexual Activity”

On March 21st, it was confirmed that lawmakers in the National Assembly had proposed eliminating the military law code specifying criminal penalties for homosexual acts.

protest in korea against gay sodomy law

Masked protesters criticize the law punishing gays in the military.

Jin Seon-mi, a National Assembly Member and member of the Democratic Party, along with ten other members opposition parties, proposed removing clause 6 of article 96 of the military law code that states, “any soldier, military employee, reservist, or conscript on alternative duty who commits sodomy or otherwise molests a fellow soldier shall be punished with up to two years’ incarceration.”

Jin and her fellow lawmakers explained, “under the current military law code, there is no punishment for engaging in typical [heterosexual] sexual acts, so long as they are not forced or in a public space. However, clause 6 of article 9 punishes homosexual sexual activity even if it is consensual and private…in cases where soldiers have disrupted military sexual discipline, applying criminal punishment of two years’ incarceration only if the participants are homosexuals seems to violate constitutional principles of fairness.”

The lawmakers went on to state that, “Even in Korea, our respect for individualism and sexual openness has led to many changes in our citizen’s preference for how the law should treat sexual activity. Our society is slowly progressing beyond the belief that homosexual sexual activity is abnormal or severely violates our sexual morals…we have recognized that discrimination based on someone’s sexual preference in hiring or elsewhere violates principles of equality, leading us to recommend that the law be changed to reflect changes in our society.

Koreans protest against the anti-sodomy law in the middle of Seoul

Koreans protest against the anti-sodomy law in the middle of Seoul

The sponsors of the law include Kim Kwang-jin, Bae Jae-yeong, Eun Su-mi, Jang Ha-na, and Jin Seon-mi from the Democratic Party, along with Kim Jae-yeon and Lee Sang-kyu of the Unified Progressive and Kim Jae-nam, Park Weon-seok, and Jeong Jin-woo from the Justice Party.

On the day before the presentation of the bill, Assembly Member Kim Kwang-jin stated on his Twitter, “due to preparations for the bill eliminating the criminal penalties in clause 6 of article 92 of the military law code, our office today was deluged with phone calls in protest, so many that we couldn’t get anything done except answer the phones…in a better world, those sponsoring this bill would receive more calls of support than calls of protest.”

Comments from Daum:

불편한진실:

So now do you all understand why the Democratic Party is so unpopular? When our military is already filled with stories of physical abuse, you want new recruits to become fresh meat for all of those gay bastards?

엘란:

I’m not so sure about this… Why are they only trying to do things that will make them lose votes.. Homosexual acts aren’t exactly natural, right?

xuthgxyrwyc:

They push aside the laws they should be focusing on, and this is what they are spending their time sitting around talking about? So if someone is just doing that kind of weird thing in the army, are you supposed to just stand by silently? Ugh, makes me want to spit.

danbee:

Hey you dumb-ass Democratic Party lawmakers, are you going to make our soldiers’ assholes burn?

Qlfhd:

Hey DP, don’t you know this is the kind of thing that costs you votes… Why would there be intercourse in the military? Do you think that the barracks is looking forward to that?

시크시코:

Wait, what? This seems dangerous…

개자추:

I’m anti-reform!!!!

픽팍폭:

I’m better off since I don’t have a son… still, this isn’t good. The military is a hierarchical organization, so if someone is a homosexual wouldn’t they be able to impose that on their junior soldiers? You are trampling the human rights of normal people in order to protect the rights of weirdos. I would like to start a petition to get these ten idiots to resign. This isn’t why I pay taxes. Remember what they have done and keep it in mind the next time you go to vote. The rights of the minority are important, but it is wrong to toss out the rights of the majority..

빅뱅힉스:

In the army? This will mean the end of discipline..

발샘:

No matter how I look at it, I don’t understand how homosexual groups in the military can maintain discipline or how such an organization could win a war. I don’t agree with this…

큰바위:

Won’t there also be divine punishment if we make anal sex normal?

새봄:

What bullshit from these bitches and bastards… Then send your damn kids to do it.. Then I won’t complain.

이정범:

Hey assholes… Then send your little whelps to the military!! You filthy pro-Japanese bastards!!!

55세은퇴목표:

I will have to be careful when I send my son to the military..

현명한여자:

Faggots are going to like this article.

BOSS:

I have no idea what these people were thinking. Use your time to figure out how to make women serve in the military as enlisted soliders just like men.

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  • mika

    koreans in gneral dislake gays and lesbians.Its gainst their religion for one thing and “unnatural”

    • A Pinky Promise

      Nah. Korean males just like anywhere else have a thing for lesbian porns.

    • Guest

      around 46% of koreans say they are irreligious, another 22% are buddhist, and only around 28% are christian (counting both protestants and catholics).

      so over half of the population of south korea should have nothing against homosexuality on the basis of their religious beliefs. -.-

      • Tova Rischi

        Buddhism is ascetic, though, isn’t it? At least the varieties I’m familiar with “strongly frown upon” homosexual acts, for both priesthood and laymen… Then again, I’m most familiar with Buddhism associated with daoist qi ideas so maybe I don’t know…

        • Rayna

          okay, but it doesn’t treat heterosexuality in the same way, give your logic.

          • Tova Rischi

            What? It’s not my logic. I’m trying to ask if Buddhism isn’t ascetic. Because if it is, it should frown on both homo- and heterosexual practices (running against the claim of the comment above, as Buddhists would push disapproval near or over 50%); if it isn’t, then that would explain some things.

      • A Pinky Promise

        But the traditional Confucianism also don’t acknowledge homosexual activities.

        • Guest

          Confucianism also doesn’t condemn homosexuality. >.>

        • Jahar

          Does it address it?

  • commander

    Engaging in homosexual acts may be nothing wrong if it is consensual. But given the hierarchical nature of the military organizations, consensual agreement could be forced against subordinates, which is one possible side effect from the scrapping of the article of the military code in question.

    Another possible adverse effect is that homosexuality, though it has gaining on the ground in the United States considerably, is still considered abnormality in South Korea, meaning that proclaimed homosexuality could cause serious disruptions in a line of command, like disobeyances of orders from homosexual higher-ranked soldiers.

    At a time when homosexuality is still viewed as an anomaly in the civilian society of the nation, the attempt to abolish the article stipulating the punishment for homosexual acts appear to be an uphill battle, with its success chances low.

    • chucky3176

      ” homosexuality, though it has gaining on the ground in the United States considerably”

      Disagree with this commonly held assertion. Homosexuality in the US/West is barely tolerated, but not accepted.

      In Korea homosexuality is not a huge issue because the topic is not very much in the consciousness of the public. This may change gradually with western cultural influence gaining in Korea, but Koreans simply don’t discuss that much about homosexuality. In the West, it’s politically incorrect to utter anti-gay comments in public, but in private gay jokes, gay hate and homophobia is rampant. The greatest insult that you can make against an American man who wants to prove that he’s not gay, is “you look like a fag”. In Korea, there’s no similar insult with that kind of impact.

      • commander

        In recent years, several states in the United States have recognized same sex marriages as legal inistutions though there are strong oppositions to that move from Christian conservatives.

        In a move that gives momentum to a change that represents a shifting public view of homosexuality, the US federal government, as far as I know, is weighing measures to guarantee pension and other welfare benefits for the same sex couples.

        In South Korea, revealing homosexual orientation is no longer shocking incidents for the public, but many have reserved aversion to homosexuals though they do not show their hate toward same sex couples.

        • chucky3176

          “many have reserved aversion to homosexuals though they do not show their hate toward same sex couples. ”

          It’s the same in the West. Although I do agree that the laws protecting homosexuality in the West is more advanced than in Korea, but that’s because many homosexuals fought very hard for their rights, suffering horrible attacks both violently and verbally. For Korean homosexuals to enjoy similar levels of protection of law, they themselves have to come out into the open and raise the issues, otherwise it will be business as usual.

          • commander

            I agree with that.

            A U.S. state considered a bill that allows employers to dismiss or not hire homosexuals at work.

            The bill was vetoed by the state governor.

            When the bill was pending at the state parliament, many advocacy groups wete protesting against the bill and many liberal enterpries were threatening pullout of the state in a prospect of taking a sizable toll on the state economy.

            Furthermore, the Republican-drafted bill raised the specter of GOP failure to woo voters who many polls show are increasingly tolerant of homosexuality.

            In this development, some of Republicans backed down from their support for the bill, which was killed by the governor, who has been applauded for her significant decision even by Republican lawmakers at the federal level.

            In the case of South Korea, it has a long way to go before homosexual equality since this nation doesnot put in place the social welfare systems for the socualky disadvantaged and other minorities, including the disabled and migratory workerd from third world countries.

            Although I dont want to deny homosexuals basic human rights, the conservative atmosphere in Korea is still prevalent so it is hard to recognize homosexuals as lawful.

    • examplesample

      “homosexuality, though it has gaining on the ground in the United States considerably”

      Watch out everyone, homosexuality is gaining ground! No word yet on where heterosexuality, asexuality, and bisexuality are in this mysterious race “commander” seems to be watching. #eyeroll

  • woonawoona

    this is the perspective of a “fag” living in Korea–
    What do these people think, that this law negates pre-existing laws punishing non-consensual sex? If a gay guy makes you suck his dick, or puts it in your bum without permission, that’s a crime, and the asshole should be punished? But what if a guy falls in love with another gay guy who’s in the army? Oh right, they should just repent for their “gayness” and be straight…..cause that works so well. Fucking backwards as shit.

  • Guest

    “Critics claimed that the South Korea military, which has been thescene of infamous physical abuse in recent years, will now become even more dangerous as gay senior officers are able to take advantage of new recruits.”

    LOL those rapists don’t have to be gay to rape the other men, for most men like that it’s all about the power and control over someone in a weaker position. That’s why prisons and the military have so much male-on-male rape, some guys are monsters and get off on humiliating and abusing other men who aren’t able to fight back, whether because of size differences or being lower ranked.

  • Guest

    what the hell… they are proposing decriminalizing anal sex, not rape. if a superior in the army rapes/sexually abuses his subordinates then it’s still a crime. getting rid of the law just means two gay guys having consensual sex can’t be charged with a crime, not that soldiers are now at the mercy of evil homosexual rapists….

    honestly though i believe ALL sexual acts should be forbidden in the military. i don’t want male superiors raping female subordinates.

    • woonawoona

      Ya, where is all this sex happening? Are girls just getting banged left-right-and-centre in the barracks? If so, the gays should be allowed to partake in such festivities.

    • Guest

      exactly.. if they are worried about superiors taking advantage through homosexual acts, then is it OK to do the same to females? then all sexual acts should be banned together.

    • A Pinky Promise

      There are very few female soldiers in Korea, and they have their own room and stuffs, whereas millions of Korean men are forced to join the army. They don’t know if their comrades are gay or not. They share the same room, shower room and stuffs. Decriminalizing anal sex is an invitation for Korean military to turn into a gay fucking prison.

      • Rayna

        “They share the same room, shower room and stuffs. Decriminalizing anal sex is an invitation for Korean military to turn into a gay fucking prison.”

        yes, this is exactly what happened in the US and every other country that decriminalized it.

      • Miniluv101

        Yes, because whenever I saw my classmates naked body after PE I just threw them on the floor and took their anal virginity then and there. Because gay/bi people have no sense of restraint, right?

        Oh no wait, that never happened; you’re just an uneducated bigot.

        • Kiwi

          Pinky clearly is a rapist

  • nugukiss

    a country who have countless cases of men raping young girls seem more active at stopping two people from having consensual sex…

  • harvz

    The best part is how half of these homophobes wear make up and, during drunken conversation, enjoy rubbing the leg and stroking the inner thigh of the man next to them.

    :O

    • takasar1

      Wow… how mean….

    • Guest

      wearing makeup isn’t gay -.- don’t judge koreans off your own western culture.

      • harvz

        What makes you think I’m from a Western Country?

        • Guest

          i was just guessing. but if you’re not from korea then don’t judge korean men with the norms of your culture -.-

          • linette lee

            harvz is a faggot. He wears make up and lipstick. He does that rubbing leg and stroking thigh thing. I don’t know why he is complaining about other gay men when he does it himself.

          • harvz

            In 2014 is calling somebody gay really that bad of an insult? Also, I never complained or spoke bad of gay people in my post. I’m beginning to think that your English isn’t as good as you say it is. :/

            I’ll give your reply a pity like.

          • linette lee

            My English isn’t as good as blablabla…when did I say anything about my English You want me to tell you in Chinese. 傻哥. Maricon.

          • harvz

            Maricon? Jaja. No me haces decir puñeta.

          • Rayna

            uh, no it’s because you’re dumb as a box of rocks, homophobe.

          • Narius

            Jesus you are an idiot.

          • Boris_Da_Bengal_Tiger

            So if he/she is from Korea, he could judge?

        • chucky3176

          You maybe Westerner or not, but that’s a typical anti-gay hatred attitude in the West, that are rampant in the west, but are rare in Korea. Western guys have an insecurity factor towards homosexuality where they must constantly prove to others that they are not gay. Where as in Korea, there’s no such insecurity, so therefore anyone can dress and behave the way they like without being attacked as freaks.

          In this regard, I scoff at self proclaimed enlightened Westerners who say they are so advanced towards gay rights, and yet Korea is so behind. The West maybe ahead through enacted legislated laws to protect homosexuals, but I think the Westerners are less personally tolerant towards homosexuals then they are admitting.

          • harvz

            How exactly was that anti-gay

            Anyways. Fair point.

          • chucky3176

            “rubbing the leg and stroking the inner thigh of the man next to them”, wearing makeups, wearing tight clothes, having long colored hair, having no facial hair, going for clean cut unisex look, are not considered gay in Korea, and Asia in general. While you may not have directly being anti-gay, but let’s be honest here, you find these behaviour which you associate with being “gay”, strange, abnormal, unacceptable, and disgusting. Please don’t tell me this isn’t true.

          • linette lee

            “rubbing the leg………..wearing makeups….are not considered gay in Korea, and Asia in general.”

            Yes it is. Why would men wear so much make up? So feminine. Clean cut no facial hair or even tight jeans okay. Make up lipstick rubbing leg they want to look prettier than women. Nothing wrong being gay though.

          • harvz

            I never said any of that was disgusting, my dude. I just find the irony in homophobic people engaging in homoerotic behavior under the ruse that it doesn’t exist.

          • Lui Brick C

            Shouldn’t you be over at Koreansentry?
            Having your little discussions about how Zionists control the world and jacking off to pictures of K-pop groups?
            Watch out chucky the Jews could be reading this!!

          • chucky3176

            “Lui”, show me where I was being anti-Zionist. I have never subscribed to that kind of theory.

          • linette lee

            You are anti everything Chucky. anti American, anti Chinese, anti Japanese, anti SE, anti middleE. You only not anti Korea and White Europe. You are also a dumba55.

          • CK7

            Only you are dumber, dumbass.

          • Isaac

            But those are good things. Why do you care anyways?

          • Lui Brick C

            Are you kidding me? You are a moderator and ring leader over there with that 5 gyopo circle jerk.
            You guys sit around dreaming up fantasies of conquering Manchuria. Please try that.
            Also its hilarioys that you guys love to talk about war and fighting when none of you served in the ROK military. Lol!
            Bunch of anti chinese anti jewish psychos.

          • chucky3176

            Sorry, but I don’t control the topics that come up in that site, and I don’t subscribe to those nonsense you talk of. Once again, show me where I even get involved in those topics. You can’t show me because you can’t find them.

          • Narius

            True to a small degree.
            But the thing is so few Koreans are “out” and openly gay that the average Korean never comes into contact with a acknowledged homosexual. So the issue isn’t as present.
            It’s not as though Koreans are a paragon of tolerance, it’s just they haven’t been openly confronted with it to the extent the west has.
            In my year at highschool there were 3-4 openly gay guys. No one gave a shit. In my last office there were two gay guys and a lesbien. It’s a non-issue outside of certain parts of the US and religious weirdos.
            When Korea gets a Castro, then you can compare the levels of tolerance.

          • Duck Donald

            Seriously? Westerners are less tolerant toward gay people? You have got to be kidding me. You may scoff at western countries for passing legislation while secretly being less tolerant than they appear. However, gay marriage and anti-discrimination laws are important not only to gay people but also in changing public opinion. Look at polls In western countries and you can see how public favour is shifting in favour of gay rights rapidly. Korea is light years behind in this regard without a doubt. You do your gay countrymen a huge disservice by pointing the finger at the west as being homophobic instead of criticizing the embarrassing way that homosexuality is treated and ignored by the general Korean public and their lawmakers.
            The reason there is so little anti-gay nonsense in Korea is because people are embarrassingly ignorant towards homosexuality, and there is almost no visibility at all. It is sweeped under the carpet. Visability is important. I can bet you that Saudi Arabian men are even less concerned with appearing gay seeing as visibility will be even lower there. This ignorance is not something.to be proud of and is in fact a symptom of a wider problem.
            Having lived as a gay man in Korea for a while with many Korean gays friends and a current long term Korean partner, I can tell you that the protections afforded in western Europe and various other countries would be welcomed by Korean gays. An increase in visibilty is bound to lead to an initial increase in criticism and backlash. That is the price that must be paid.

          • A White Guy

            What’s so proud of being a butt fucking faggot? What’s to be proud of. If you want to have sex with other guys, that’s fine by me. But don’t try to impose your Western fag values onto Koreans. Why do everyone in the world has to follow and be like the West in everything? Do they have a sole monopoly on righteousness and ethics? Thankfully Koreans do not find this behavior something to be proud of. But they don’t go around beating up random gays on streets and sometimes kill them just for looking gay. Koreans should not listen to this lecture of how the west is so supposedly so tolerant towards the fags. They are not. The debate is still raging.

        • Jahar

          Your command of English and your disdain for the way koreans are more accepting of physical contact between men.

          • harvz

            “Your command of English”

            1) Just because someone can speak proper English doesn’t mean that said person is western.

            2) Not all westerners speak English.

            3) u wot m8?

          • Jahar

            No one said they were, and no one said they do. I just answered your question. This is why someone might think you are a westerner.

    • Nyai

      Every culture has different types of masculinity. Don’t you use you own conceptions of gay with people from another culture because you don’t have the same as them. You’re so ethnocentric…

      And you call them homophobic and still you use sterotypes and prejudes about gay habits… xD

  • jetspa

    I wonder if they know the Hwarang pansy boys were butt-jockeys? What am I saying lolol….korean people don’t know about history. Guess when you are trained from birth to shout and get offended and wave the flag at every turn, reality gets further and further away.

    • A Pinky Promise

      That Hwarang boys were gays is still a theory. There’s no enough evidence. Also, most countries hide their embarrassing secrets.

  • A Gawd Dang Mongolian

    I really don’t see how this is a problem. A “What what in the butt” law like this doesn’t stop it. Just makes it all happen in the closet.

    • tina

      i know right? everytime something is prohibited, it just makes it worse. now the closets will be stuffed with gays, lesbians, etc.

  • Mighty曹

    Why not just amend the clause in the article to include only ‘molest’?

    • tina

      i agree. plus i think many koreans in general need to have more sex, and i mean get laid more. all that damn anger and tension is not good for their health. their uptight rigid attitude is not helping either. koreans need to be more comfortable with their sexuality, embrace it. oh and korea should legalize porn, i heard it’s not legal there.

      • Mighty曹

        More people should be open minded as you.

  • cantonizi

    How could the S Koreans deny the US army their human rights, way too long?
    The US says your ass is mine and they mean it, soon going north to the commies.

  • Boris_Da_Bengal_Tiger

    Personally, sexual relations in the army (on duty or training or in the barracks, etc.) between members shouldn’t be allowed. My personal opinion.

    • tina

      lol! i know, i understand but c’mon, all those young men pent up in the army, what do guys do then? can you imagine if there were tons of female soldiers in the army? there will be tons of sex going on, plus gay and lesbian sex too. consensual of course.

      • Smith_90125

        Considering how little Korean soldiers are paid, they can’t afford girlfriends nor pay for prostitution. Most of their “luxuries” came in the form of cheap cancer sticks and cheap soju, it’s why smoking and heavy drinking are so common in that society.

  • Claude

    Boys Beware. 1950’s anti-homosexual propaganda film.

    Whenever you meet a stranger – be careful if they are too friendly, one never knows when the homosexual is about…

    What Jimmy didn’t know is that Ralph was sick.. The sickness that was not visible like small pox…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5VNe9NTOxA

    • A Gawd Dang Mongolian

      Ah yes, the 1950’s. The good old days when transsaturated fat was a fancy word for ‘good eats’, there was nothing harmful in cigarettes because the company said so, women were expected to stay at home, and the government never ever lied about anything…

  • tina

    wow. i’m amazed at the comments here.. why can’t koreans just let other people be? sex in military and prisons have been goin on for a long time throughout history all over the world. korea’s no exception. just because you don’t see it or never seen it or hear about it, does not mean it doesn’t go on. many countries in europe, israel, australia allow gays in military and are not punished for consenting homosexual acts. people will always find a way to have sex, it’s human nature. nothing you say or do will stop it. get over it people.

  • akro

    “South Korea recorded the most significant shift towards greater acceptance of homosexuality among the 39 countries surveyed worldwide. Significantly, there is a very large age gap on this issue: in 2013, 71% of South Koreans aged between 18-29 believed that homosexuality should be accepted, compared to only 16% of South Koreans aged 50 and over.” (Pew Research)

    That’s an amazing shift. It looks like South Koreans in their twenties have attitudes similar to those of twenty-somethings in the US.

    • chucky3176

      You’re being too rational here, where stats and figures aren’t as important as people’s ingrained stereotypes of Koreans.

  • Smith_90125

    There are plenty of LGBTQ people in Korea, despite what the closed minded will claim. They would open up to foreigners (excluding the US terrorists stationed on bases there) because most foreigners were accepting. That wasn’t universally true, especially when the foreigners were christians. A few gay Koreans I knew made the mistake of opening up to the wrong people. But for the most part, anyone willing to travel and live in a foreign country is going to be enlightened enough to accept people as they are.

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