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23 Jul 2019

Japan elects first openly gay male politician to national parliament

'This acknowledges that we are here’ politician Taiga Ishikawa said of LGBT people as he won a seat in Japan’s Upper House

Japan on Monday (22 July) elected its first openly gay male politician to the country’s national parliament. LGBT rights activist turned lawmaker Taiga Ishikawa won a seat in the Upper House for the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDPJ). ‘I was calling for the acknowledgment of LGBT people in the election’ said after his win was announced, according to Asahi Shimbun. ‘A lot of people all over Japan plucked up their courage to vote for me. This acknowledges that we are here.’ Japan has previously elected at least eight openly LGBT politicians to posts in regional councils and parliaments.

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Reader's Comments

1. 2019-07-24 05:25  
That is great news! More power to the movement in Japan!
2. 2019-07-24 11:34  
Hope gay friendly atmosphere extends to some other Asian countries
3. 2019-07-24 11:43  
"Japan has previously elected at least eight openly LGBT politicians to posts in regional councils and parliaments." I wonder how they're performing so far. Aside from pushing LGBT agenda like same-sex marriage, what other things do they work on?
4. 2019-07-24 12:43  
23 municipalities/city wards and one prefecture in Japan permit civil partnership unions. The country is moving forward slowly. Do not expect any sudden change with this new elected gay MP. Japan remains an extremely conservative country with its own customs and traditions. It is also not really gay friendly! What people say and do is not always what they think! It is a country where square pegs are not just rammed into round holes - few square pegs are prepared to rise above the surface.

@joey2012 - "Hope gay friendly atmosphere extends to some other Asian countries". Where have you been in recent years and how much have you learned about Asia in that time? Seemingly little, I fear. Taiwan passed a gay marriage Act in May this year. It's annual Gay Pride Parade attracted 140,000 marchers last year. Tokyo's? Less than 10,000. But Tokyo's Parade has been going on for 25 years. Taipei's for just 16. In terms of LGBT acceptance, Taiwni is light years ahead of the rest of the continent.

Vietnam has had a gay marriage bill before its legislature for more than a year. Thailand also has a bill coming before its parliament to permit more equality for gay mean and women, but falling short of civil partnerships and marriage.

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 ILGA Asia - Fridae partner for LGBT rights in Asia IGLHRC - Fridae Partner for LGBT rights in Asia