Reverence for tradition threatens same-sex marriage in Japan

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06/13/2019

As Japanese lawmakers grapple with a landmark same-sex marriage bill, campaigners fear it may die at the first legislative hurdle as lawmakers pander to aging voters and old traditions. For while surveys show overwhelming support for gay rights, most LGBT+ Japanese say they keep their sexuality a secret in a nod to the reverence for harmony that pervades high-tech Japan. “Japan is a culture where people don’t want to stick out and cause trouble,” said Alexander Dmitrenko, co-chair of Lawyers for LGBT & Allies Network, an NGO that promotes LGBT+ rights. “It’s also a very process-oriented society, where things take a longer time to happen,” Dmitrenko, who worked on Canada’s same-sex laws, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

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