Skip to main content

Country Overview

Republic of Korea

At a glance

Same-sex Relations for Men Legal Throughout the Country?

Yes

Same-sex Relations for Women Legal Throughout the Country?

Yes

Legal Gender Recognition Possible?

Yes

LGBTI Orgs Able to Register?

Yes

Actions Related to SOGI at the UN:

2016: Supported IE SOGI

2019:

View more for this country:

Same-sex relations are legal in South Korea but lack legal protection based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Several government officials in recent years have endorsed conversion practices toward LGBTI individuals. Out of a population of 51 million in South Korea, nearly a quarter identify as Christian, making the religious community a politically influential group. This current situation indeed impacts the LGBTI movement in this country, and there are very few public figures who are willing to show their support. Although the National Human Rights Commission Act states that "no individual is to be discriminated against based on his or her sexual orientation.", LGBT people are still excluded from military service. However, some process appeared last year- the Supreme Court recently struck a statute criminalizing sodomy within the armed forces, and there was one out lesbian elected official who won the campaign.

Global Impact

Sub-Saharan Africa

Outright supports LGBTIQ organizations in Sub-Saharan Africa and works with mainstream human rights organizations to respect human rights and influence positive changes in laws, policies, attitudes, and beliefs that cause discrimination against LGBTIQ people on the continent.

View this region

United Nations

Our work at the United Nations centers around advocating for the advancement of the rights of LGBTIQ people.

View this region

Asia

Our work in Asia promotes acceptance of sexual and gender diversity at all levels of society.

View this region

Middle East and North Africa

In the Middle East and North Africa, we partner with local groups in various countries as part of our international solidarity work. We also work with our local partners on different topics through capacity building, advocacy, research and holistic security.



View this region

Europe and Central Asia

Outright International partners with activists to fight for an end to human rights violations based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression in Europe and Central Asia, where most of our work involves emergency responses to harassment, discrimination, violence and most recently, Russia’s brutal and expanded invasion of Ukraine.

View this region

Americas

Our work in the Americas continues to build on the fundamental and positive transformation of human rights protections in recent years. We partner with groups in the Caribbean that focus on ending gender-based violence and eradicating discrimination against trans people.

View this region

Pacific

Our work in the Pacific aims to increase visibility of activists, respond to human rights emergencies, and actively bridge local, regional and international activism to achieve equality and justice.

View this region

Human Rights Research

Since 1990, we have partnered with activists from all over the world to produce hundreds of groundbreaking reports.

Read Our Reports