Japan’s Ruling Party LGBT Bill Falls Short

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05/07/2021

Over the past six years, activists in Japan have pressed the Diet, the national parliament, to introduce a nondiscrimination law that protects the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. Japan currently does not have any national legislation protecting LGBT people from discrimination, and a recent study puts Japan next to last in a ranking of laws on LGBT Inclusiveness for developed countries. One proposed law – the LGBT Equality Act – is currently under intense negotiation between Japan’s ruling and opposition parties. In April, the conservative ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) announced it would pass an LGBT law during the current Diet session, set to end in June. But the ruling party bill, presented at the LDP’s Special Mission Committee on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, only requires the government to “promote understanding of LGBT people.” It fails to mention nondiscrimination protections and falls short of the government’s international human rights obligations. Many Japanese LGBT rights groups oppose the draft bill, concerned that such weak language won’t offer any real protections. Opposition parties are demanding a law that explicitly protects against discrimination.

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