The ordinary Diet session was closed on June 16, 2021. The “LGBT comprehension promotion method” (hereinafter referred to as the LGBT-related bill), which was expected to be passed by the Diet, was not even submitted in the end and was abandoned. It should also be remembered that ugly hate speech was scattered in the LDP debate over the bill.
Voice Up Japan is a group of diverse individuals. Members of all backgrounds, regardless of age, nationality, gender or sexuality, participate in a wide range of anti-discrimination activities. As such, and above all, we believe that our organization’s ethics, that discrimination is evil, is a norm that should be shared throughout society and opposes all discrimination.
From that standpoint, the fact that the bill was not submitted or passed in the current Diet session, that a serious hate speech to LGBTQ+ was given within the Liberal Democratic Party, and the discrimination that was agitated by it was neglected, we take this seriously and express our strong protest. We request that LGBTQ+ be enacted as soon as possible to enact a law that requires non-discrimination and the provision of reasonable accommodation(*) to government agencies, businesses, etc.
- About the abolition of LGBT related bills
Various discussions were held among civil society regarding LGBT-related bills. There were many criticisms of the bill, and we were initially in a negative position to support it. On May 5, we, Voice Up Japan, called for approval of a petition in response to the statement, and signature raising action by “#LGBTQ seeks a law that protects against bullying discrimination” supporters. At that time, we also expressed three concerns about the LGBT-related bill.
1) LGBTQ+ was particularly “different as an object of understanding” and “not regarded as the subject of rights”.
2) This bill only requires the understanding of LGBTQ+ and does nothing to further the cause of anti discrimination.
3) The law to be enacted should be to “eliminate discrimination and be offered equal rights”.
However, after that, due to bipartisan discussions, although the anti-discrimination provision was not included, it was expected that the sentence “under the recognition that discrimination is not allowed” would be added to the purpose and basic idea of the bill. With this as an opportunity, we have taken a position to support the enactment of LGBT-related bills. We believe that the enactment of the amended bill will be a step towards respecting and upholding the human rights of LGBTQ+ people.
However, in the end, the LGBT-related bill was not passed in the current Diet session. We are deeply concerned about this situation. Members of parliament are entrusted to represent everyone living in this country regardless of orientation. We sincerely hope that you will remember this duty again.
As long as polititians have received trust from the electorate, each member of the Diet must fulfill his / her duties with the recognition that he / she does not allow discrimination. “Do not allow discrimination” is not a matter of partisanship. It is about protecting human rights, and politicians need to take that issue seriously.
The LGBT-related bill should have reflected that recognition. That is why there was an agreement among the members of the Diet that transcended the factions. We appreciate the members of the Diet who have contributed to the enactment of the bill, regardless of their political party.
But surprisingly, some LDP lawmakers rejected that recognition. The Liberal Democratic Party decided not to submit the bill as a party, and as a result, it was in tune with some lawmakers who took a strong opposition. This decision also disobeys the bipartisan consensus that “discrimination against LGBTQ+ is unacceptable.”
We have to point out that the decision made by the LDP as a party is anti human rights. In addition, Voice Up Japan feel aggrieved and a sense of crisis remains since the LDP rejected the natural recognition that “discrimination against LGBTQ+ is not allowed”.
2) About hate speech given within the LDP.
After the sentence “under the recognition that discrimination is unacceptable” was approved in bipartisan talks, a forum was held within the LDP. We speak out loudly to protest the ugly hate speech to LGBTQ+ here.
It is absolutely unacceptable for a person in the position of a member of parliament to voice hate speech. Parliamentarians are representatives of every citizen in this country. In addition, malicious hate speech made by people in public positions is unacceptable given its influence.
This form of hate speech has been given by LDP lawmakers many times, and civil society has criticized each time. However, it is hard to say that the LDP has listened to those criticisms and took appropriate measures, and we have to say that this time it is following the same path.
Regardless of the political party, if a member of the Diet voices hate speech, that party should strictly deal with the member, and in addition, It is necessary to respond and stop the agitated discrimination.
No discrimination should be tolerated. Discrimination tramples on our universal right to live in peace, free from fear and want.
It is unacceptable that the LGBT-related bill was abolished in this way, and that an ugly hate speech to LGBTQ+ was given in the discussion over LGBT-related law within the LDP. However, during this time, we are also encouraged by the fact that wide range of people have voiced in a range of different ways that “discrimination is unacceptable.”
We will continue to call for the earliest possible enactment of a law that prohibits discrimination against LGBTQ+ and requires the provision of reasonable accommodation to government agencies, businesses, etc., and the realization of a society that does not allow discrimination. We will seek it together with you.
- What is reasonable accommodation?
A concept used by the LGBT Law Federation and the joint opposition “LGBT Discrimination Elimination Bill”, which was incorporated by the Disability Discrimination Elimination Law.
For details, please see -What is the “LGBT Discrimination Prohibition Law” aimed at by the LGBT Law Association.
June 16, 2021
General Incorporated Association Voice Up Japan
(Written instead by Jun-ichi Ozaki)