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Military Drops Plan to Appeal Ruling on Transgender Soldier

Written: 2021-10-23 13:29:40Updated: 2021-10-23 13:35:01

Military Drops Plan to Appeal Ruling on Transgender Soldier

Photo : YONHAP News

The military will drop its initial plan to challenge a court ruling that ruled its decision to discharge a soldier who underwent gender reassignment surgery was unjust.

A Defense Ministry official said Friday that following an order from the Justice Ministry, the Army will end its litigation and take follow-up measures.

The official said the ministry will carefully review its policy on transgender soldiers through research that takes into account public opinion and the special nature of the military.

Justice Minister Park Beom-kye earlier accepted a recommendation from an advisory committee on administrative lawsuits which reviewed the case of late former Staff Sergeant Byun Hee-soo.

The committee said the ruling is not about recognizing military service for transgender people but is saying the discharge against the deceased, who was a woman at that time, was unlawful.

Earlier this month, the Daejeon District Court ruled in favor of Byun Hee-soo, who was discharged following gender reassignment surgery, even though she wanted to continue serving as a woman. 

The court said the discharge was inappropriately made on the grounds that the loss of male genitalia constituted a physical disability under military law.

Byun was found dead at her residence in March this year.

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