TOKYO (AP) – Sexual minority groups and human rights activists launched a petition on Thursday calling for an LGBT equality law in Japan in hopes that it can be enacted next year, when the country is to host the Olympics and will be the focus of international attention.
“In this country, equal rights for LGBT people are not guaranteed by law or in their social lives,” said Yuri Igarashi, co-representative of the Japan Alliance for LGBT Legislation, one of several organizers of the petition. “We call for the passage of an LGBT equality law in time for the Tokyo games, and as an Olympic legacy.”
Japan has slowly shown an increased awareness of sexual diversity but it is often superficial. Pressure to conform still forces many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people to hide their sexual identities, even from their families.
Same-sex marriage is not legally allowed, and transgender people are required to remove their reproductive organs to have