Korea University, one of the three most prestigious universities in South Korea, has altered the school rules in order to prohibit discrimination against the students’ sexual orientation or gender identity. This is the first time that a student-led committee at a Korean university has made official moves towards advocating for its LGBTQ students.
Earlier this year, a series of homophobic and transphobic incidents affected the school’s LGBTQ community. Someone ripped up a poster belonging to a school organization that welcomed incoming LGBTQ students. A similar incident happened to Ewha Women’s University. In addition, students reported various homophobic comments in the classes and during school events. The unsafe environment prompted the student council to act.
“Representatives of all colleges agreed on the need to ban discrimination, leading us to pass the revision,” states Choi Jung Un, the head of the student council at Korea University.
Han Ga Ram, a lawyer and member of the Korean Lawyers for Public Interest and Human Rights, describes the new law as “a little overdue.” However, he commends the students’ decision to respect the rights of minority groups.
“I believe it will become a catalyst for people to actively speak out for human rights and freedom of speech regarding sexual minorities among students,” he said. “It is also keeping with the global trend. Korea voted in favor of a U.N. Human Rights council resolution on a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity that was passed last month.”
However, earlier this year, Moon Yong Rin, the former Seoul education chief, attempted to change a clause in the student rights ordinance that stated a student could not persecuted for their sexual orientation or gender identity. Although his attempted failed, the support he received was a reminder of the “hostility sexual minorities in Korea still face”, according to koreaherald.com.
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Alice D is a hella homosexual (femme)inist who can be found in her natural habitat of used bookstores and bakeries.
Although most of her time is spent driving through LA’s notoriously difficult traffic, she prefers to read heart-wrenching novels about queers, write about LGBTQIA+ issues, and add to her ever-growing collection of red lipsticks and black shoes.