The Korea Herald


Reality check: How diverse is Korea really? LGBTQ+ and society (9)

Korea becoming more accepting of homosexuality, yet trails behind other countries

By Shin Ji-hye

Published : Feb. 19, 2024 - 16:51

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According to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center in 2020, there has been a notable shift in public opinion in South Korea regarding the acceptance of homosexuality. The survey revealed that the percentage of individuals who believed that homosexuality should be accepted by society increased from 25 percent in 2002 to 44 percent in 2019. This shift suggests growing openness and changing attitudes towards LGBTQ+ issues within South Korean society over the years.

However, it's important to note that despite this shift in public opinion, South Korea still faces challenges in achieving broad social acceptance of LGBTQ+ individuals.

According to a report released in November 2021 by the UCLA School of Law Williams Institute, South Korea was ranked 75th out of 175 countries in terms of social acceptance of LGBTQ+ people. This ranking indicates that while progress has been made, there are still significant barriers and obstacles to overcome in fostering greater inclusion and acceptance of LGBTQ+ individuals in South Korean society.

There has been talk in the South Korean parliament to enact a comprehensive law that prohibits all kinds of discrimination based on gender, race, sexual orientation, age and educational background, among other factors.

The first legislative proposal for such a law was proposed in 2007. Since then, several lawmakers have drafted similar bills. But none have managed to pass parliament, largely due to objections from conservative Christian groups.

Is South Korea really becoming more diverse? The Korea Herald offers a reality check by examining data on representation in the fields of politics, business and society according to gender, age, ability, sexual identity and nationality. A complete version of this series was printed in the Jan. 2 edition of The Korea Herald. – Ed.