South Korean Same-Sex Couples Win Health Insurance Rights in Landmark Ruling

In South Korea, same-sex couples have been fighting for the right to be eligible for health insurance.

In the first trial, their claim to fulfill the substance of marriage was denied. However, in the second trial, the decision was overturned, raising questions about whether South Koreans recognize same-sex couples in common-law marriage.

On the 21st, the Seoul High Court Administration Division 1-3 ruled in favor of the plaintiff, saying that the National Health Insurance Corporation's (KNOC) disposal of health insurance premiums was unfair.

Kim Yong-min and So Sung-wook, a same-sex couple, had applied for both dependents, but the KNOC had deleted the record. So, they filed a lawsuit, claiming that it was illegal not to recognize the qualifications of health insurance dependents. In the first trial, the recognition of same-sex marriage was dismissed, but the second trial overturned the decision.

This ruling has implications for the recognition of same-sex couples in South Korea.

In Korean law

The Korean law does not recognize same-sex marriage and there is no provision for it. Marriage in Korea is limited to a union between a man and a woman and same-sex couples are not permitted to legally register a marriage. However, there are some recent developments that have been made in the country to recognize and protect the rights of same-sex couples such as providing rights to inheritance and adoption.

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