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Opinion divided among ruling, opposition parties over LGBT issues

The issue of sexual minorities has been drawing a great deal of attention of late. While the opposition parties call for establishing laws to eradicate discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in their campaign pledges, the ruling parties advocate for legislation that mainly focuses on promoting understanding of LGBT issues.

 

Members of a bipartisan league on LGBT issues are not on the same page. The group was set up to deal with problems faced by sexual minorities under the leadership of Minister of Education Hiroshi Hase of the Liberal Democratic Party, but opinions are divided, as the ruling and opposition parties take different approaches.

 

At the end of May, the Democratic Party, Japanese Communist Party, Social Democratic Party and People’s Life Party submitted to the Diet a bill aimed at eliminating discrimination against LGBT people. The LDP and Komeito Party, meanwhile, are seeking to work out their own bill.

 

The SDP pledges to make same-sex marriage possible in their policy platform for the House of Councillors election. The JCP also seeks to implement ordinances and measures in all municipalities like the one enacted in Shibuya Ward. The LDP remains cautious about this. (Abridged)

 

Parties’ policies and public pledges on LGBT issues

LDP

Establish legislation aimed at facilitating understanding of sexual orientation and gender identity; promote policies through cross-cutting collaboration among ministries and agencies

Komeito

Promote efforts to establish legislation to realize a society free of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and to facilitate the understanding of sexual minorities

DP

Establish legislation to eliminate discrimination against LGBT people

JCP

Establish legislation to eliminate discrimination against LGBT people; implement ordinances and polices for all municipalities to certify “relationships equivalent to marriage”

SDP

Establish legislation to eliminate discrimination against LGBT people; seek to make same-sex marriage possible

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