A South Korean court has recognised the rights of a same-sex couple for the first time

South Korean court recognizes same-sex couple rights in a landmark decision. The case is now being challenged in the Supreme Court.
A South Korean Court has Recognised the Rights of a Same-Sex Couple for the First Time

For the first time, a South Korean court has recognized the rights of a same-sex couple. The couple, So Seong-wook and Kim Yong-min, had sued the country’s National Health Insurance Services after Kim was barred from being covered under So’s health insurance policy as his spouse.

The pair were married in 2019, but South Korean law does not recognize same-sex marriages. The health insurer originally granted spouse coverage to Kim but retracted it after realising Kim was a man. It argues its original decision was a mistake.

The Seoul High Court concluded the insurer did owe Kim coverage and that denying same-sex couples health insurance afforded to other couples was discrimination. The decision will now be challenged in South Korea’s Supreme Court (the highest legal authority).

International Human Rights Organization Amnesty International Welcomed the Decision, Saying It Offered “Hope that Prejudice Can Be Overcome” in a Country with Widespread Discrimination Against the LGBTQI+ Community.

“This ruling is significant as the first decision legally recognizing same-sex couples to be made by a court at any level in South Korea, but much more needs to be done to end discrimination against, and criminalization of, the LGBTQI+ community,” Amnesty International East Asia Researcher Boram Jang said.

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