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South Korean
commission says military must protect gay soldiers

South Korean
commission says military must protect gay soldiers

South Korea's Human Rights Commission on Wednesday called on military authorities to take further steps to protect gay soldiers who are vulnerable to physical and mental abuse in the barracks. The independent government panel has been reviewing the treatment of gay men in uniform since February, when a 23-year-old soldier identified only by his surname, Kim, filed a complaint saying that he suffered mental depression after enduring harsh treatment for his homosexuality during his compulsory military service. Kim completed his service last month. The commission recommended that the minister of defense better protect gay men on duty by strengthening conduct standards and introducing more education programs on human rights and sexual harassment. The commission also urged military authorities to issue warnings to some of Kim's superiors. According to Kim, an army counselor refused to treat him unless he submitted a photo of himself kissing or having sex with a male partner to prove his homosexuality. Kim was also forced to reveal how many times he had sex with male partners and even had to submit to a blood test to confirm whether or not he was infected with HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases. (Sirius OutQ News)

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