Japanese LGBT activists demand legal protection at Tokyo protest – Manila bulletin
TOKYO, Japan – Activists staged a colorful protest in Tokyo on Sunday, calling on the Japanese parliament to approve an anti-discrimination bill protecting the rights of the country’s LGBT community.
Led by drag queens and DJs bursting with upbeat music, dozens of activists and supporters of the legislation wore rainbow-colored masks and danced in front of the famous Shibuya Passage in the Japanese capital.
The bill, which has been under discussion for years, appeared to be gaining traction after a group of lawyers began working on it in 2015.
But some members of the ruling conservative Liberal Democratic Party rejected the bill last month, with a lawmaker saying same-sex relationships threatened “the preservation of the species.”
“I was really disappointed,” a 20-year-old drag queen named Okuni told AFP.
“I thought the people who still think of us that way are in control of politics,” she said.
Activists urged supporters to demand action from lawmakers to put the legislation back on their agenda.
“I thought we had to work harder (for equality), which is why we are here today. It means a lot, I think, ”Okuni said.
Human rights activists have accused conservative politicians of violating the Olympic spirit as Tokyo prepares to host the Games this summer amid the coronavirus pandemic.
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