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9 Aug 2018

Japanese LGBT Community Rises Up Against Homophobic Politician

Protests against bigoted comments by a Japanese politician show the 'growing strength' of the Japanese LGBT community.

After a member of Japan's conservative party called gay people "unproductive" members of society, more than 5,000 people took to the streets of Tokyo, calling the comments "hate speech."

Mio Sugita, a member of the ironically named Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), said that it was a waste of taxpayers' money to support the gay community since they "don't bear children."

Taiwanese magazine New Bloom said that the demonstrations which followed signified the "growing strength" of Japan's LGBT movement, which has unfolded quietly. Pride parades, for example, were not seen in the country until the mid-1990s.

The struggle to confront and address Japan's low birthrate could arguably feed anti-LGBT sentiment in the country, as there is increasing pressure on young people to have larger families, New Bloom reported. 

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe—also of the LDP—opposes gay marriage as being unconstitutional, a claim challenged by LGBT activists as they continue to push for equal rights.

Japan

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