March, 2015 – JAPAN
Top level officials are meeting to make sure that there is no blatant homophobia when the world competes in 2020. They are aware of the world’s distain for the ugly Russian homophobia that was present in the Sochi Games. Putin ordered that no open display of homosexuality would be tolerated, although teams found ways around it. The German team’s clothing, particularly the rainbow gloves was claimed by the Germans to be co-incidental and not political. Russia’s passing of the “anti-propaganda law” limited free speech and freedom of assembly for sexual minorities which resulted in world figures not attending the opening ceremony.
Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party
Hiroshi Hase, member of the governing Liberal Democratic Party declared that Japanese society will be questioned on its treatment of sexual minorities as it hosts the Olympics. In a basic plan for the Olympics in Tokyo, a section on “sexual orientation” was included in order to promote diversity at the games.
The group will reportedly meet with LGBT representatives as well as study marriage and anti-discrimination laws of other countries. The formation of the group is yet another sign that LGBT rights will be discussed more than previously in Japan, with some commentators even calling for the legalization of same-sex marriage.
Higashi and her partner Hiroko
In April, 2015, about 3,000 marchers demonstrated for marriage equality. In the same month, a lesbian couple tied the knot publicly. Keep the pressure on!
In 2013, Higashi and Hiroko gained world-wide publicity when they married at Japan’s Disney World.
I would be delighted if Japan legalized same-sex marriages before the 2020 Olympic Games. paula.