Sexual minorities urge LDP to pass LGBT bill

Representatives of sexual minorities have called on Japan's main ruling party to swiftly pass a bill designed to enhance public understanding of LGBT.

Three representatives handed over their request to the head office of the Liberal Democratic Party in Tokyo on Friday.

The move comes after the party leadership decided not to propose the bill to the Diet, after failing to reach an agreement within the LDP last week.

Senior party officials say they have too little time to deliberate the bill, as the current Diet session ends on June 16.

The bill drafted by bipartisan lawmakers aims to prohibit discrimination against sexual minorities.
But some LDP members voiced concerns that stipulating the prohibition could generate excessive activism or lawsuits.

The petition calls for the enactment of the bill in the current session, as originally sought by the bipartisan group. It also argues that the bill is a necessity and the first step to protect the lives and livelihoods of sexual minorities.

One of the representatives, Sugiyama Fumino, said Japan is lagging behind on the issue, as over 80 countries have laws to ban discrimination against sexual minorities.

Sugiyama stressed the urgent need to have the law go into effect, because it is a matter of life and death, saying young people who are members of sexual minorities often think of taking their own lives.