Japan elects first openly-gay politician to national parliament

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07/22/2019

Japan on Monday (22 July) elected its first openly-gay politician to the country’s national parliament. LGBTI rights activist turned lawmaker Taiga Ishikawa won a seat for the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDPJ) in the Upper House. ‘I was calling for the acknowledgment of LGBT people in the election’ said after his win was announced, according to Asahi Shimbun. ‘A lot of people all over Japan plucked up their courage to vote for me. This acknowledges that we are here.’ Japan has elected at least eight openly-LGBTI politicians to posts in regional councils and parliaments. Conservative Japan does not allow same-sex marriage. National laws do not protect LGBTI people from discrimination. The ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is notoriously anti-LGBTI. But, the CDPJ has drafted bills to protect LGBTI rights. Ishikawa on Monday, therefore, promised to push ahead with bills affording marriage equality and protecting LGBTI people from discrimination. ‘I would like to do my best to enact both pieces of legislation,’ Ishikawa also said. ‘I want to support vulnerable people in this society as a politician.’

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