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How religion spurs homophobia in South Korean politics

Politicians constantly need to prove their anti-LGBTQ credentials

Park Young-sun, left, of the ruling Democratic Party and Oh Se-hoon of the main opposition People Power Party, are running in an April 7 election to become mayor of Seoul. A string of candidates have expressed their disapproval over holding Seoul Pride in the city center. (Source photos by Yonhap/Kyodo, Yonhap/EPA/Jiji and Getty Images) 

SEOUL -- Staff Sergeant Byun Hee-soo was classified as "disabled" by the South Korean military and discharged from service last year after the transgender soldier had surgery to confirm her gender as a woman.

At a tearful news conference before her dismissal, Byun said: "I want to show everyone that I can also be one of the great soldiers who protect this country." A year later, she was found dead at her home.

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