Showing posts with label #Equality. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #Equality. Show all posts

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Struggling for Equality: The Battle Over Same-Sex Marriage in Japan.

"Tokyo Rainbow Pride in 2016"
© 2016 Nesnad.
Motoko Rich and Hikari Hida from The New York Times delve into the escalating tension in Japan over the legalization of same-sex unions. Japan stands alone as the only G7 country where same-sex marriage is not legal, despite public opinion being largely in favor. However, conservative entities, notably the Shinto Association of Spiritual Leadership and affiliates of the Unification Church, propagate an opposing viewpoint, likening homosexuality to an "addiction" that can be "cured." As international pressure mounts for Japan to champion equality, lawmakers have offered a tepid response, drafting a bill calling for no unfair discrimination against LGBTQIA+ individuals, although critics argue it falls short compared to a previous failed proposal.

These religiously associated organizations exert significant influence within the conservative political sphere, even though they may not echo the sentiments of their followers or the broader public. The national Shinto association, deeply interwoven with Japan's culture and traditions, uses its ideological drive to sway lawmakers on various social matters. Concurrently, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, acknowledging the distinct circumstances of each country, stresses the need for a comprehensive dialogue on same-sex marriage. Yet, the political sway of the religious right, demonstrated through the assassination of Shinzo Abe and the implication of the Unification Church, overshadows these discussions.

Despite these challenges, the LGBTQIA+ community in Japan perseveres in their struggle for equal rights, with an increasing number of municipalities offering same-sex partnerships and legal challenges to the constitutionality of the non-recognition of same-sex marriages. Amidst these efforts, foreign diplomats led by U.S. envoy Rahm Emanuel continue to advocate for LGBTQIA+ rights, drawing attention to the strong public endorsement for same-sex marriage. As Japan contends with demographic changes, the call for embracing diversity and immigration reform grows stronger. Corporations such as Suntory and Coca-Cola Japan signal a shift towards inclusivity, underscoring the resilience and diversity of Japan's LGBTQIA+ culture.