LGBT people in Japan worry getting coronavirus may result in outing

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04/20/2020

A 34-year-old man who lives with his same-sex partner in Fukuoka, southwestern Japan, has chosen not to be open about his sexual orientation at his office. But he worries it may be revealed if he becomes infected with the virus as he would have to tell a public health center about his partner when asked about people he has had close contact with. Even those who are open about their sexual orientation are worried about being excluded from important decision-making processes on treatment if their partner is hospitalized with COVID-19. Kohei Inagaki, 28, and his partner have been recognized by the city of Saitama as partners equivalent to a legally married couple. But he said, “I may not be notified of my partner’s health condition and may not be able to be involved in making decisions on treatment.” The same survey revealed that there is also a misperception among some LGBT couples that they are not eligible for government compensation for parents who take leave from work to look after children due to the school closures prompted by the virus outbreak.

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