Japans Gay Community wants better living conditions

As the number of countries legalizing gay marriage has risen, the gay and lesbian community in Japan has been encouraged as well to engage more and more in activities that will improve their living conditions.

Japan does not have an anti-gay law or legal protections for homosexuals. Some in the gay community are actively seeking legislation to guarantee their rights, but others, especially those who remain in the closet, prefer a more gradual approach by striving to solve problems they face in their daily lives, activists say, according to Kyodo news agency.

Kaito Akechi, 36, a gay activist who has been lobbying for a “partnership law” in Japan to provide legal protections for same-sex couples, said his group aims to raise the status of homosexual couples so that they can be treated the same way as heterosexual couples in common-law marriages.

Japan situates itself in the middle when it comes to gay marriage. While it does not obviously discriminate sexual minorities, it does not show too much support either for recognizing or legalizing unions between same-sex couples.

Gay or lesbian marriages are not legal in Japan and civil unions between same-sex couples are not recognized either.

However, the first lesbian wedding in Japan was hosted this year, in March, at Tokyo Disneyland. The two brides, Koyuki Higashi and her partner Hiroko, decided to tie the knot, with the nuptials being only ceremonial.

“My love Hiroko and I wore wedding dresses and had a mini-parade in DisneySea, a place I also love,” Ms Koyuki Higashi, 28, said at the time. “I was really happy!”

From Tokyo Times


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