Japanese LGBTQ groups and supporters stage rally in Tokyo, demand equal rights

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06/06/2021

Japanese sexual minority groups and their supporters staged a rally outside Tokyo’s iconic Shibuya Station on Sunday calling for equal rights and public support for enacting a long-sought equality law before the Olympics, despite fading hopes due to the governing party’s resistance. Around 100 people wearing rainbow facemasks danced and held banners with slogans in Japanese and English, such as “Equality Now!” “Legalize!” and “Equality Act during the current Parliament!” Support and awareness of sexual diversity has slowly grown in Japan, but there’s still a lack of legal protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Japan does not legally recognize same-sex partnerships, and LGBTQ people often suffer discrimination at school, work and even at home, causing many to hide their sexual identities. Rights groups are pushing for the passage of an equality act as international attention falls on Tokyo as it hosts the Olympics, set to begin July 23. The International Olympic Committee also has issued a statement stressing the importance of inclusivity in sports.

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