This week read about a gay South Korean couple suing the national health insurer for discrimination, and an international tribunal saying the Jamaican government violated the rights of a gay man and lesbian.

South Korean Gay Couple Sues National Health Insurer

A South Korean gay couple sued the state health insurer over canceling coverage based on sexual orientation last week, an activist group told the Yonhap news agency.

Couple So Seong-wook and Kim Yong-min filed a lawsuit against the National Health Insurance Service, the Korean Network for Partnership and Marriage Rights of LGBT told Yonhap.

The NHIS revoked Seong-wook’s coverage as a dependant in October, previously provided under his partner’s program, pointing to the couple’s same-sex marriage, Yonhap reported. Since then, Seong-wook has been charged a separate premium, which the suit seeks to cancel.

The NHIS grants insurance benefits to spouses of subscribers, and the denial of benefits based on gender is unfair, Seong-wook said in a press conference.

South Korea does not legally recognize gay marriage, Yonhap reported. The couple has been married since May of 2019.


Tribunal Says Jamaican Government Violated LGBT Rights


Gareth Henry. Photo courtesy of Gareth Henry.

The Jamaican government violated the rights of a gay man and lesbian, an international tribunal found last week, the Associated Press reported.

Gareth Henry, a gay man living as a refugee in Canada, faced police brutality and homophobic gangs in Jamaica, the AP reported. He sought asylum in Canada in 2008.

Simone Edwards, a lesbian living in asylum in Europe, was shot several times in Jamaica in 2008, losing a kidney and part of her liver, the AP reported. People attempted to kill her and her two brothers, one of whom is gay.

The ruling was recently made public by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the AP reported. The commission originally issued the decision confidentially in September of 2019.

“This is now the landmark LGBT human rights case for the entire Caribbean region,” the Human Dignity Trust told the AP.

The U.K.-based legal organization represented both Henry and Edwards, presenting the case in 2011, the AP reported.

A Jamaican government spokesperson did not immediately return a request for comment.