26 Apr 2017

South Korea’s Presidential Candidates Shun LGBT Issues

Candidates, in fear of alienating conservative voters, refuse to promise anti-discrimination legislation.

Amnesty International has released responses on LGBT rights issues from South Korea’s presidential candidates Moon Jae-in, Ahn Cheol-soo, Hong Joon-pyo, Shim Sang-jung, and Yoo Seong-min.

Of the five, only left-wing Justice Party candidate Shim stated her intention to “pursue” anti-discrimination legislation.

Conservative Liberty Korea Party candidate Hong said he “could not” pursue it, while the other three candidates avoided giving a clear answer.

Activists accuse major presidential candidates of keeping quiet on LGBT human rights issues while billing themselves as “human rights” or “feminist” candidates.

“The establishment parties are all talking about ‘reform’ and ‘ending past vices,’ yet they never say a word about anti-discrimination legislation or LGBT issues,” said Na Ra, secretary-general of Solidarity for LGBT Human Rights of Korea.

Candidate Hong said he “hates that stuff,” when quizzed about LGBT in a recent television interview.

Officials with Moon, Hong, Ahn, and Yoo’s election camps all stated their opposition to enacting anti-discrimination legislation while attending an evangelical Christian event last month.