South Korea will
consider ways to improve the rights of gay soldiers, the
defense ministry said today in Seoul, amid growing
calls for equal rights for sexual minorities. Defense
minister Yoon Kwang-ung told a parliamentary committee
Tuesday that his ministry will review a report from
the National Human Rights Commission recommending that
regulations penalizing gay soldiers be scrapped or
eased. The ministry confirmed Yoon's comments today.
According to South Korean military regulations,
gay men aren't allowed to serve. Eight soldiers were
discharged from the military last year for being gay.
All South Korean men are required to serve as
conscripts, and officers consult fellow soldiers and
seek diagnoses from doctors to determine whether
someone is trying to evade service by claiming to be gay.
Gay rights groups say that can lead to demeaning
practices and exclude those who want to serve their