On March 31, 2023, Human Rights Now released a statement calling for legislation regulating discrimination against sexual minorities and for the legalization of same-sex marriage. Human Rights Now strongly urges the Japanese government to enact an effective anti-discrimination law and legalize same-sex marriage before the upcoming G7 Summit.
With the G7 summit in Hiroshima swiftly approaching, Japan’s attitude toward sexual minorities (LGBTQIA+) has come under intense scrutiny domestically and abroad.
While last year’s G7 summit leaders have made clear affirmations committing to the protection of sexual minorities from discrimination and violence, sexual minorities in Japan are still facing daily discrimination and exposure to prejudice, bullying, and lack of understanding from general society. Moreover, discrimination against sexual minorities is deeply engrained in Japanese political structures. There are countless examples of government officials and ruling party members making discriminatory remarks (e.g., “LGBT people are not productive”) and subsequently getting dismissed over them. Some Japanese political parties have also run election campaigns promising to prevent the legalization of same-sex marriage. The current situation in which ruling party officials continue encouraging discrimination against sexual minorities is highly problematic.
In addition, based on the prejudice against transgender people, misinformation is now being spread that eliminating discrimination against transgender people will increase the number of sexual crimes perpetrated by transgender people. Human Rights Now strongly protests against statements that unnecessarily promote prejudice and discrimination against sexual minorities without being based on reality.
Given the current human rights situation (vis-a-vis sexual minorities) in Japan, Human Rights Now urges the Japanese government to realize the United Nations Human Rights Committee’s recommendations toward Japan to legalize same-sex marriage as well as enact effective legislation against the discrimination of sexual minorities before the commencement of the G7 summit.