Advertisement
Tuesday, Jun 28, 2022
Outlook.com
Outlook.com

South Korean Military To Appeal Ruling On Transgender Soldier

A local district court ruled this month that the military unlawfully discriminated against the soldier by forcing her out last year for undergoing gender reassignment surgery.

South Korean Military To Appeal Ruling On Transgender Soldier
South Korea's first known transgender soldier | AP
South Korean Military To Appeal Ruling On Transgender Soldier
outlookindia.com
2021-10-21T12:27:05+05:30

 South Korea's military said Thursday it will appeal a landmark court ruling that struck down its decision to discharge the country's first known transgender soldier before she was found dead earlier this year.

A local district court ruled this month that the military unlawfully discriminated against the soldier by forcing her out last year for undergoing gender reassignment surgery.

The Defence Ministry said it respects the verdict but has decided to appeal. A ministry official said it plans to ask the Justice Ministry to approve the filing, as required by law. Local media reported that the ministry was worried about a possible backlash in the military and administrative confusion if it accepts the ruling.

The appeal is expected to draw strong protests from human rights groups, which have been urging the military to accept the verdict and work out measures to guarantee service for sexual minorities.

South Korea prohibits transgender people from joining the military but has no specific laws on what to do with those who have sex change operations during their time in service. When the army discharged Byun Hui-su in January last year, it cited a law provision allowing it to dismiss personnel with physical or mental disabilities if those weren't a result of combat or suffered in the line of duty.

In its Oct 7 ruling, the Daejeon District Court ruled against the discharge, saying that Byun had already informed the army that she had registered her request to change her legal status as a woman with another local court. Her request for a legal gender change was approved less than a month after her discharge.

Byun was found dead at her home in March at age 23. Before her discharge, Byun, a staff sergeant, told reporters that she wanted to serve as a female soldier near the tense border with North Korea.

Public views on gender issues in South Korea have gradually changed in recent years. However, a strong bias against sexual minorities still runs deep. 

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

Lament Of Separation: Songs Of Habba Khatun, Last Queen Of Kashmir, Still Echo In Valley

Lament Of Separation: Songs Of Habba Khatun, Last Queen Of Kashmir, Still Echo In Valley

In happy times and sad, Habba Khatun’s sensuous songs make both young and old emotional. With the never-ending conflict bringing tragedies to every doorstep, Habba’s lyrics of separation amplify their mourning.

How Indian Laws Govern People’s Right To Love And Live

How Indian Laws Govern People’s Right To Love And Live

In India, only those relationships between a man and a woman are considered to be legitimate when there is a marriage between the two.

Kohli Quits Test Captaincy, Leaves Leadership Vacuum

Kohli Quits Test Captaincy, Leaves Leadership Vacuum

Virat Kohli, 33, had recently stepped down as India's T20I captain and was subsequently removed as the ODI captain.

UP Elections 2022: How Congress Is Harnessing Power Of 'Persecuted' Women To Counter BJP

UP Elections 2022: How Congress Is Harnessing Power Of 'Persecuted' Women To Counter BJP

A Mahila Congress leader, who is the face of the ‘Ladki Hoon, Lad Sakti Hoon’ campaign, however, has accused the party of anti-women bias after she was denied a ticket.

Advertisement