On Thursday, a civic group accused the chief of South Korea’s army of using dating apps to hunt out gay soldiers.
The Korea Herald reports:
The Center for Military Human Rights Korea (MHRCK) said they started receiving multiple reports from victims early this year that Army Chief of Staff Gen. Jang Jun-gyu ordered them punished for violating the Military Criminal Act.
Under the law a soldier who commits “sodomy” or “other disgraceful conduct” can face up to two years in prison.
Homosexuality is legal in South Korea, but not in the military. By military codes, all homosexual activity is considered sexual violence, even if it’s consensual. And military service is compulsory, so the rules effectively forbid a lot of young men from being gay or bi.
According to MHRCK’s report, the army found 40-50 soldiers to put on its list of gays. The army used fake profiles on dating apps in order to dig up and trap soldiers they suspected of being queer.
“Launching an investigation solely based on one’s sexual orientation is discrimination and an act against humanity,” a spokesperson for MHRCK said. “The Army made the list without material evidence of them having sexual intercourse.”
More Queer Witch Hunts
Social media apps allow queer users a great opportunity to meet others in a majority-straight world. It’s especially a boon to LGBTQ people living in isolation in small conservative communities.
But, unfortunately, government officials, the police and employers can use social media to punish people, too.
Recently, Border Patrol denied a Canadian entry to the United States because of a gay hookup app he had on his phone. His app said he was “looking for loads,” which the border patrol agent took as a euphemism for prostitution.
Still, at least it’s not as ridiculous as the time in the 1980s with Navy investigators, misunderstanding the expression “friend of Dorothy,” went on a mad goose chase for the Wizard of Oz heroine’s secret underground gay army.
(Header image via USAG-Humphreys)