This week read about the death of South Korea's first trans soldier Byun Hee-soo, and Panama passing a bill that discriminates against same-sex couples from adopting.

Outrage Over Death of South Korea’s First Trans Soldier

The death of South Korea's first identified transgender soldier has sparked outrage and demands for change.

After being discharged from the South Korean Army in 2019 following her gender-reassignment surgery, a transgender soldier, Byun Hee-soo, was found dead.

The South China Morning Post reported that the defense ministry classified the removal of her male genitals as a mental or physical handicap, and shortly after, a military panel ruled that she would be compulsorily discharged.

Hee-soo's death caused widespread mourning and demands for South Korean lawmakers to pass an anti-discrimination bill.

According to the South China Morning Post, a poster on Daum, the country's second-largest portal, said, "The entire Korean society bears responsibility for her death."

Other international rights groups have previously voiced their concerns about the way South Korea treats its LGBT soldiers, who can face up to two years in prison if caught engaging in same-sex acts, which contradicts actions that are legal in civilian life.

Police are still investigating her death, but the death is currently being treated as a suicide.

Panama Bans Same-Sex Couples from Adopting


The National Assembly of Panama. Credit: Ayaita via Wikipedia.

The government of Panama has passed a bill that claims to protect children and minors from being separated from their biological families. It also allows for children to be adopted by both single parents and married couples.

Pink News reported that the bill defines a married couple as those who are composed of “different sex” partners because same-sex marriages are not yet legal in Panama.

The Human Rights Watch called upon Panama’s President Laurentino Cortizo to dismiss the articles that maintain biases against lesbians, gays, and bisexuals.

This organization also stated that the bill contradicts recent statements made by the Panamanian government that said that it would not tolerate violations of the rights of LGBT people.

In July, the ministry of public security of Panama tweeted that its government establishments are respectful of human rights and condemn all forms of terror, xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia or bigotry, regardless of who perpetrates it.