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LDP: Gays don’t need special rights

Kyodo

The Liberal Democratic Party believes that no additional measures are required to protect the rights of gays and lesbians, though almost all of the other major parties running in the Dec. 16 general election feel otherwise, a survey by a sexual minority advocacy group has found.

Rainbow Pride Ehime, based in Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture, sought the views of the political parties on sexual minorities in multiple-choice questionnaires sent to their headquarters ahead of the Lower House poll. As of Tuesday, replies had been received from the LDP and five other parties, and their responses were tallied the following day.

On “the need for measures to protect the human rights of sexual minorities,” the LDP replied: “Measures are necessary for people with gender identity disorder but not for homosexuals.”

But the five other groups — the ruling Democratic Party of Japan, New Komeito, Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party), the Japanese Communist Party and the Social Democratic Party — all chose the answer: “Active enlightenment and measures are necessary,” according to Rainbow Pride Ehime.

A Kyodo News survey released Wednesday indicated the LDP and its main opposition ally, New Komeito, together could win about 300 of the 480 seats in the House of Representatives poll.

Asked about expanding systems such as social security and inheritance benefits to same-sex couples, the LDP answered: “These systems should be intended for heterosexual couples.”

However, both Nippon Ishin and the SDP responded: “Homosexuals should be made eligible for the institution of marriage,” while the JCP said: “A partnership system should be created that can be used, be it heterosexual or homosexual.” The DPJ and New Komeito replied that they were either unable to provide an answer or didn’t have a position on the issue.

On school education to teach students about sexual minorities, all six parties said: “It is necessary to eliminate discrimination and prejudice (against sexual minorities) by teaching the diversity of sexual orientation through education.”

Rainbow Pride Ehime sent the questionnaire to most political parties Nov. 21, and to Nippon Mirai no To (Tomorrow Party of Japan) on Monday since the group was only officially established Nov. 28. Nippon Mirai’s response did not arrive in time for Wednesday’s tally, according to the advocacy group.