Productive and driven, he was a model army officer, but he had a secret: he was in a gay sexual relationship with a fellow soldier -- a crime under South Korea's military law. He kept his sexuality hidden from everyone, including friends and family, only meeting his lover off-base and after work. Same-sex acts are legal for South Korean civilians, although homosexual people live largely under the radar as it remains a conservative society, influenced by evangelical Christianity.
Corderra Dews, 24, was living in Austin, Texas, and openly gay before he joined the Army ina couple of months before the end of "don't ask, don't tell," the policy that kept gay soldiers in the closet at the risk of losing their jobs. During basic training, people questioned his sexuality because he never spoke about women. Last year, with the overturning of the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, the Army extended benefits to same-sex spouses, furthering the full inclusion of gay and lesbian soldiers in the military.
The United States military formerly excluded gay menbisexualsand lesbians from service. Inthe United States Congress passed and President Bill Clinton signed a law instituting the policy commonly referred to as " Don't ask, don't tell " DADT which allowed gay, lesbian, and bisexual people to serve as long as they did not reveal their sexual orientation. Although there were isolated instances in which service personnel met with limited success through lawsuits, efforts to end the ban on openly gay, lesbian, and bisexual people serving either legislatively or through the courts initially proved unsuccessful.
By country. LGB service by country. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender LGBT personnel are able to serve in the armed forces of some countries around the world: the vast majority of industrialized, Western countries, in addition to BrazilChile  South AfricaIsraeland South Korea. This keeps pace with the latest global figures on acceptance of homosexuality, which suggest that acceptance of LGBT communities is becoming more widespread only in secular, affluent countries.
James Griffiths reported from Hong Kong. Chat with us in Facebook Messenger. Find out what's happening in the world as it unfolds.
Immediately, in America, this brings up a lot. We have a complicated history with LGBT service members; we have a history with our perceptions and expectations of what a soldier should be, or can be, a question also grappled with in warplay. But warplay is still not rooted in any specific time or place.
When the investigators put him on a video call with his ex-lover, who admitted to the relationship, he felt he had to confess. But Mr. Kim is one of an increasing number of gay or transgender soldiers who have been persecuted under Article of the Army Criminal Act, which has been used to out them and punish them for consensual sex, Amnesty International said in a report released on Thursday.
Three years after the Obama administration told transgender individuals they could serve openly and have access to gender-affirming medical and psychological care, the Trump administration has reversed course. But after Friday, anyone with gender dysphoria who is taking hormones or has already undergone a gender transition will not be allowed to enlist. Further, any currently serving troops diagnosed with gender dysphoria after this date will have to serve in their sex as assigned at birth and will be barred from taking hormones or getting gender-affirming surgery.
Serving as a soldier in the US Army is a challenging role. But with talent shows on bases and puppy snugglesnot every moment of active duty is serious. Sergeant Brandon Morgan, right, kissed his partner, Dalan Wells, in a helicopter hangar at the Marine base in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, upon returning from a six-month deployment to Afghanistan in
SEOUL - Amnesty International on Thursday called on South Korea to decriminalize same-sex relationships for men in the military, warning current laws fuel violence, discrimination and stigmatization against gay soldiers. The South Korean ministry of defense did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but in the past South Korea has defended the code as necessary to maintain discipline. The Amnesty report comes as South Korea engages in a broader debate over the future of its conscript military force - with recent court rulings clearing the way for conscientious objectors and political leaders promising to shorten service commitments - as well as controversy over changing social norms. Amnesty urged South Korea to repeal Article of the Military Criminal Act, which it said effectively prohibited and punished sex between men in the military.