Election Of gay lawmaker at Japan spurs hopes 4 same-sex marriageReuters #Same_SexAugust 8, 2019
(This story corrects year Japanese lawmaker, Kanako Otsuji, was elected))
(Photo by Rodrigo Reyes Marin/AFLO)
By Olivier Fabre and Rachel Savage
TOKYO (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Japan’s first openly gay male lawmaker said on Tuesday he believed the country would legalize same-sex marriage, months after Taiwan became the first place in Asia to allow gay unions.
Taiga Ishikawa, 45, was elected to parliament’s upper house on Sunday, on a platform calling for marriage equality, with the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party, also the party of Japan’s first openly LGBT+ lawmaker, elected in 2013.
Same-sex marriage is illegal and Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, has opposed efforts to legalize it.
The self-ruled island legalized same-sex marriage in May while Thailand has drafted a bill that would recognize same-sex civil partners.
Ishikawa said his election showed that a growing number of Japanese people backed same-sex marriage.
He credited strides made towards marriage equality recently in countries such as Ecuador and Northern Ireland.
Japan’s first openly lesbian lawmaker, Kanako Otsuji, 44, helped table a marriage equality bill in June but the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition party, Komeito, have declined to debate it.
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