Homosexuality
    ✔ Legal
    Gay Marriage
    ✖ Unrecognized
    Censorship
    ✖ State-enforced
    Changing Gender
    ✖ Illegal
    Gender-Affirming Care
    Unknown
    Non-Binary Gender Recognition
    ✖ Not legally recognized
    Discrimination
    ✖ No protections
    Employment Discrimination
    ✖ No protections
    Housing Discrimination
    Unknown
    Adoption
    ✖ Illegal
    Intersex Infant Surgery
    Unknown
    Military
    ✖ Don't Ask, Don't Tell
    Donating Blood
    Unknown
    Conversion Therapy
    Unknown
    Age of Consent
    ✔ Equal
💬 Join Equaldex's LGBTQ+ Discord to discuss LGBT rights and chat!

Public Opinion

North Korea is missing public opinion data.

Help expand our understanding of the public's view on LGBTQ+ issues in North Korea by sharing a link to a survey from a reputable organization.

Suggest Public Opinion Data

Have you lived in or visited North Korea?

Share your experience of being LGBTQ+ in North Korea.

Take Survey

History

Homosexual activity in North Korea

?

Homosexual activity in North Korea is legal.

Current status
Since Sep 14, 1948
Legal
Contrary to popular belief, homosexuality is technically not against the law in North Korea. However, North Korea is a sexually conservative country, and this applies to sexuality anywhere on the spectrum. Overt shows of affection by anyone of any sexual orientation tend to be frowned upon. There are, however, claims that it is de facto illegal, but this has no official backing. (Date shown is the date of North Korean statehood.)

While punishment is rare, it was reported by The Korean Times that North Korea executed a lesbian couple for being influenced by capitalism and bringing corruption of public morals. However, this report has never been confirmed to be true.

Finally, even though de jure homosexuality is not prohibited, de facto there were some cases of punishment for LGBT people

Same-sex marriage in North Korea

?

Same-sex marriage in North Korea is unrecognized.

Current status
Unrecognized
Depiction in media of affection in North Korea tend to be very rare, and no law against gay marriage exists in the constitution.
Added by bradcoffey106  ·  Report error  ·  Log

Censorship of LGBT issues in North Korea

?

Censorship of LGBT issues in North Korea is state-enforced.

Current status
Since Sep 14, 1948
State-enforced
Censorship topics are all controlled by the government
Added by Hearts4Al  ·  Report error  ·  Log

Right to change legal gender in North Korea

?

Right to change legal gender in North Korea is illegal.

Current status
Illegal
Legal gender recognition is not possible in North Korea.
Added by Apple123  ·  Report error  ·  Log

Gender-affirming care in North Korea

?

Gender-affirming care in North Korea is unknown.

Current status
Unknown

Legal recognition of non-binary gender in North Korea

?

Legal recognition of non-binary gender in North Korea is not legally recognized.

Current status
Not legally recognized
No legal recognition of non-binary gender
Added by maddyksf  ·  Report error  ·  Log

LGBT discrimination in North Korea

?

LGBT discrimination in North Korea is no protections.

Current status
Since Sep 14, 1948
No protections
Because sexual orientation as a concept does not appear in North Korea law, there is no legal prohibition of discrimination by state and nonstate actors based on sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or sex characteristics.

LGBT employment discrimination in North Korea

?

LGBT employment discrimination in North Korea is no protections.

Current status
No protections
Because sexual orientation as a concept does not appear in North Korea law, there is no legal prohibition of discrimination by state and non-state actors based on sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or sex characteristics.

LGBT housing discrimination in North Korea

?

LGBT housing discrimination in North Korea is unknown.

Current status
Unknown

Same-sex adoption in North Korea

?

Same-sex adoption in North Korea is illegal.

Current status
Illegal
According to the US Department of State report, same-sex adoption is illegal in North Korea.
Added by Apple123  ·  Report error  ·  Log

Intersex infant surgery in North Korea

?

Intersex infant surgery in North Korea is unknown.

Current status
Unknown

Serving openly in military in North Korea

?

Serving openly in military in North Korea is don't ask, don't tell.

Current status
Since Sep 14, 1948
Don't Ask, Don't Tell
Some secondary sources claim it is a "Don't Ask Don't Tell" situation. But, based on a North Korean propaganda film from the year 2000, male homosexuality may be against the law in the military, including for prisoners of war. Information is extremely limited, because North Korea heavily censors LGBT content.
Sources:
Myers, B. R. The Cleanest Race: How North Koreans See Themselves and Why It Matters. Melville House, 2011.
Ultimately sourced from North Korean propaganda film, "Snowstorm in Pyongyang" (2000).
Hassig and Oh (2009) The Hidden People of North Korea
Martin (2006) Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader, p. 521
Added by Ratabzoo  ·  Report error  ·  Log

Blood donations by MSMs in North Korea

?

Blood donations by MSMs in North Korea is unknown.

Current status
Unknown

Conversion therapy in North Korea

?

Conversion therapy in North Korea is unknown.

Current status
Unknown

Equal age of consent in North Korea

?

Equal age of consent in North Korea is equal.

Current status
Since 2009
Equal
Under the Article 295 of the North Korean Criminal Law, the age of consent is 15 irrespectively of gender of parties.
Added by James  ·  Report error  ·  Log


LGBT Rights by Province

View the LGBT laws in each individual province of North Korea.