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Sex Video Behind Gay Crackdown in South Korean Military?

Korea

Officials are accused of "hunting down" sexually active gay men in South Korea's military, which bans homosexual activity.

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Advocacy groups in South Korea claim military officials are trying to weed out gay soldiers after a sex video of two male servicemembers appeared on the internet earlier this year.

Gay and bisexual men are allowed to serve in South Korea's military, but homosexual activity is banned and includes punishments of up to two years in prison. The military claims they're only interested in prosecuting those involved in the video, but watchdog groups dispute that.

"Military investigators used the information they gained from the investigation on the sex video to track down other gay soldiers in the army, starting by forcing the suspects to identify who they had sex with and then widening their search from there," Military Human Rights Center for Korea director Lim Tae-Hoon told the Associated Press.

Claims of confiscated cellphones, threats of outing, and entrapment on hook-up apps have all been reported, according to groups like Military Human Rights Center for Korea. Since the beginning of 2017, 30 soldiers have been investigated over the video and an army captain, who didn't know the men involved in the video, was arrested. The couple in the tape are allegedly partners who were not even having sex in a military facility.

Antigay prejudice still runs rampant in Christian-influenced South Korea, and homophobic hate crimes remain common, according to advocates.

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Neal Broverman

Neal Broverman is the Editorial Director, Print of Pride Media, publishers of The Advocate, Out, Out Traveler, and Plus, spending more than 20 years in journalism. He indulges his interest in transportation and urban planning with regular contributions to Los Angeles magazine, and his work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He lives in the City of Angels with his husband, children, and their chiweenie.
Neal Broverman is the Editorial Director, Print of Pride Media, publishers of The Advocate, Out, Out Traveler, and Plus, spending more than 20 years in journalism. He indulges his interest in transportation and urban planning with regular contributions to Los Angeles magazine, and his work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He lives in the City of Angels with his husband, children, and their chiweenie.