Japanese politicians refuse to pass LGBTQ rights bill as Olympics approach

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05/24/2021

Advocates around the world are calling foul on Japan, worrying that the country won’t meet their pledge to pass a LGBTQ rights law before hosting the Olympics in August. The concern follows the country’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), the majority party in control of both chambers of the legislature, the National Diet, refused to get behind a bill championed by minority parties called the Equality Act. The bill states that discrimination “must not be tolerated.” LDP, which is conservative, pledged in April to pass a bill supporting the LGBTQ community before June. During closed-door negotiations, thought, LDP politicians expressed their feeling that the effort to end legalized discrimination had “gone too far” and would harm the country more than progress it, according to reports. Many officials reportedly made disparaging remarks about LGBTQ people, but LDP leaders anonymously denounced them in talking to reporters. Still, Japanese media has reported that Kazuo Yana, a LDP member of the Japanese House of Representatives, said that people being “LGBT goes against the preservation of the human race.” LDP leaders instead wanted to pass a bill that would encourage the government to “promote understanding” of gay and trans people as a compromise. The vote on that bill has been postponed, according to the Guardian and social media posts.

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