LGBTQ gains: Japanese Communist Party introduces marriage equality bill in parliament
Shii Kazuo, chair of the Japanese Communist Party, addresses a rally at the Tokyo Rainbow Pride 2022 Festival. | via JCP

TOKYO—The Japanese Communist Party on March 29 submitted to the House of Councillors a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in the country. JCP Dietmembers Nihi Sohei, Kurabayashi Akiko, and Ito Gaku handed the proposed bill to the House secretary general.

The bill, if enacted, will codify both heterosexual and same-sex marriages and will accordingly change the statutory wordings of “wife” and “husband” to the gender-neutral “parties to a marriage.”

After the bill submission, on behalf of the proponents, Nihi pointed out that almost 70% of respondents in every opinion poll endorsed gay marriage and that a growing number of municipalities are introducing some sort of same-sex partnership system.

Saying, “Public understanding of LGBTQ rights is greatly changing in Japan,” Nihi stated that an urgent task is for the Diet to enact a law to legally recognize same-sex marriage.

He said that it is the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, ridden with paternalistic and heteronormative “family values,” that is hampering the establishment of marriage equality legislation.

Nihi added, “The LDP, with its outdated ‘family values’ based on patriarchy should not take away from everyone’s happiness. It should respect sexual diversity in line with international standards.”

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Shimbun Akahata
Shimbun Akahata

Shimbun Akahata (しんぶん赤旗) is the daily newspaper of the Japanese Communist Party.