South Korea's Supreme Court has ordered the government to allow a LGBT rights foundation to legally register as a charity.
The Beyond the Rainbow Foundation was rebutted from registering on three separate occasions: From the Seoul Metropolitan Government and the National Human Rights Commission in 2014 and the Ministry of Justice in April 2015. Each agency claimed that LGBT rights were not within their purview.
The Ministry of Justice ruled: ”The Ministry of Justice develops, oversees and revises policies related to all human rights issues in South Korea … [But] since your foundation's main objective is promoting human rights for a social minority, it is different in nature from the organizations that the ministry allows to incorporate."
The foundation appealed the rejection in the Seoul Metropolitan Court and won in March 2017, the Ministry of Justice appealed to the Seoul High Court and the Supreme Court.
New York-based Human Rights Watch welcomed last week’s Supreme Court ruling.
“The South Korean Supreme Court has affirmed the Beyond the Rainbow Foundation’s right to register with the Ministry of Justice,” said Graeme Reid, director of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights program at Human Rights Watch.
“This judgment is a victory for the fundamental rights of all South Koreans – and a boost to the LGBT community’s ability to organize and advocate.”