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Public tolerant of same-sex relationships, but less so among their own friends: poll

JIJI

A majority of Japanese are accepting of romantic feelings between same-sex couples but are not so tolerant when it comes to having homosexual friends, researchers say.

Although same-sex relationships are becoming more widely accepted in Japan, many are tolerant of the relationships only among unfamiliar people, the team led by Kazuya Kawaguchi, a professor at Hiroshima Shudo University, said Saturday.

The survey, conducted in March, was subsidized by the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry. The door-to-door survey covered 2,600 adults ranging in age from their 20s to their 70s. Valid responses were received from 1,259.

Of the respondents, 51.7 percent said they are not uncomfortable with romantic feelings between men, versus 43.8 percent who said they are.

A total of 56 percent said they are tolerant of such feelings between women.

By gender, 41.2 percent of men were accepting of same-sex romantic feelings, compared with 63.2 percent of women.

Of those who tolerate romantic feelings between men, about 60 percent said they are uncomfortable with sexual conduct between males. In addition, some 30 percent said they would feel uneasy if they found out their male friends are gay.

“Many people are accepting of romantic feelings between same-sex people, but there is strong intolerance of such feelings when it comes to those they are familiar with and to same-sex sexual conduct,” the team said.

About 60 percent of the respondents said they would be tolerant of gender changes involving neighbors and colleagues, while some 70 percent said they would not be so if that person was a relative.

Asked about their thoughts on making same-sex marriage legal, 51.1 percent were in favor, compared with 41.3 percent who were opposed. The largest group of those opposed, 19.9 percent, said legalizing same-sex marriage was not suitable for Japan although it may be feasible overseas.

“The survey revealed public attitudes toward sexual minorities in a data form,” Kawaguchi said. He expressed hopes that the survey results will serve as a basis for future discussions.

  • skillet

    It would be nice if culture “progress” could be frozen at a level just a little more tolerant and open than Japan. In the 1980’s, it really did seem like gays got a raw deal. Even around 2005, I used to watch the gay channel and thought they were right on most issues.

    But a line has been crossed in the past five years. Now, the LGBT have become the bullies. Policing speech, suing and bankrupting Christian bakeries. Promoting hatred of cis-genders white men as an oppressor class.

    The only hope for re-balancing the terrain is, paradoxically, gay journalists like Milo Yianopolis at Breitbart. It is as if straight dudes and conservatives in general have lost freedom of speech and need their gay “Knight in shining armor” to express opinions that SJW’s have muzzled.

    Milo Yianopolis said as much. That the only reason he can say what he does is because he himself is gay.

    Plus, Milo has great hair.

    • disqus_vBekJrf7g5

      It would be nice if you had some examples from Japan to fill your comment, rather than whining about the USA.

    • Shiki Byakko

      Yes, because this has something to do with japan?

      In Japan most gay people are closeted, and have internalized homophobia.
      In other words, gay people in japan are more willing to criticize the “gay movement” than to say anything about their own discrimination.

      So please, just shut up and go away.

    • wind

      What could be more ludicrous than some commenters trying to silence/shut down other commenters from considering issues here in Japan from the perspective of other countries?

      Not saying I agree with what skillet said, but am saying I sure as heck agree with skillet’s right to say it.

      • R0ninX3ph

        I kind of agree, I don’t personally agree with shutting down businesses because they believe rubbish, I personally would prefer they advertise their bigotry so that I can avoid giving them patronage.

        However, when they are the only business in a small town, some people don’t have the options but to give people whose views they don’t agree with business.

        It isn’t as simple as a lot of people on both extremes of the political spectrum like to make it out to be.

      • blondein_tokyo

        Rest assured businesses aren’t being shut down. Sweet Cakes by Melissa managed to raise $350,000 for their cause, and are still open for business.
        And they are still refusing to pay the court-ordered fees, too. Leaves one wondering what they did with the $350,000, doesn’t it.

      • blondein_tokyo

        Rest assured businesses aren’t being shut down. Sweet Cakes by Melissa managed to raise $350,000 for their cause, and are still open for business.
        And they are still refusing to pay the court-ordered fees, too. Leaves one wondering what they did with the $350,000, doesn’t it.

      • R0ninX3ph

        I am aware, was just responding with a hypothetical was all.

      • R0ninX3ph

        I am aware, was just responding with a hypothetical was all.

      • disqus_vBekJrf7g5

        I’m not disagreeing with his right to say it, I just don’t see how the plight of America’s Christian bakeries relates to Japan.

      • R0ninX3ph

        There is this weird thought process though I notice in some people, where they equate being told their opinion isn’t liked is the same as being told they aren’t allowed to hold said opinion.

        As if someone who holds the opposite opinion and expressing such, is “oppressing” them.

      • wind

        Where I come from, comments such as “Please shut up and go away/Your comment doesn’t belong here” sounds rather a lot like “being told they aren’t allowed to hold said opinion”.

        But hey, maybe that’s just how discourse goes these days. If North American politics is anything to go by, it seems like strongly telling off other person = courage of convictions, and moderate language = no convictions.

      • disqus_vBekJrf7g5

        I’m not disagreeing with his right to say it, I just don’t see how the plight of America’s Christian bakeries relates to Japan.

    • blondein_tokyo

      You actually agree with someone because he has great hair? And you must know that a lot of GLBT people disagree with Yianopolis. He’s not the Spokesgay, you know.

      Christian bakeries got themselves in trouble because they broke the law. Discrimination is illegal, you see.

      “Policing speech” usually means that the person said something bigoted, and then got pissed off that someone else told them off for it. Kind of like what I’m doing to you right now.

      You see, what is happening is that the tables are turning, and it’s no longer acceptable to say bigoted things about GLBT. Bigots once enjoyed support for their bigotry, but now that the support is disappearing rapidly, the bigots are whining that they can no longer say bigoted things with impunity.

      • skillet

        Milo has great hair and is very fashionable. I like the way he dresses, too. I like his style, even if I personally like cowboy hats and boots for myself.( I am more a creature of the hinterland.)

        But even more important, he says some things that need to be said. Because the left has a problem with intolerance and more than anybody, he knows how to get under their skin.

        With pure logic. Plus, I think Milo is a good catholic. Even though I am personally not catholic because they are flirting with too many liberal and leftist positions under the current pope, it is good to see someone honor tradition.

        I personally like the Russian Orthodox Church. They honor Christian practices, but still provide a solid moral foundation for the socio-political culture that is helping Putin maintain the foundations of public morality and civil society.

        But I am not Eastern Orthodox either. All institutionalized religions have been inching toward materialism since the year 869 when the the church declared that we consist of not just body, soul and spirit but only body and soul.

        Once the spirit became estranged, it was only a matter of time until humans started the Darwinian descent into believing we are all monkeys. And more and more behaving like monkeys.

        And with leftist political lobbies cheering on the decadence and saying it is good to behave like monkeys.

        That’s why we have the loony left.The downward spiral began in 869 and has been accelerating at warp speed in recent years.

        Read your history and you will see I am 100 percent correct.

      • blondein_tokyo

        The left does not have a problem with intolerance. Like I said: it’s becoming less acceptable to say horrible things about LGBT. As a result, those who say horrible things are getting upset that they are now getting kickback.

        That isn’t intolerance; it’s progress.

      • skillet

        Read Huffpo. Where it is okay to demonize Southern while Christian cis-genders based on sexual preference, gender, race, religion.

        These leftist hypocrites.

        Left demands grovelling.

    • blondein_tokyo

      You actually agree with someone because he has great hair? And you must know that a lot of GLBT people disagree with Yianopolis. He’s not the Spokesgay, you know.

      Christian bakeries got themselves in trouble because they broke the law. Discrimination is illegal, you see.

      “Policing speech” usually means that the person said something bigoted, and then got pissed off that someone else told them off for it. Kind of like what I’m doing to you right now.

      You see, what is happening is that the tables are turning, and it’s no longer acceptable to say bigoted things about GLBT. Bigots once enjoyed support for their bigotry, but now that the support is disappearing rapidly, the bigots are whining that they can no longer say bigoted things with impunity.

  • blondein_tokyo

    I can’t help but think “who cares”? If people don’t want to have GLBT friends, but at the same time aren’t actively trying to harm GLBT people, I’m perfectly okay with that. You don’t have to be friends with someone in order to tolerate them. Just don’t do any harm – that shouldn’t be very difficult.
    Besides, who would WANT to be friends with someone whom they knew was only tolerating them? I can’t think of a single reason to be friends with someone who holds prejudices. I can tolerate them; but I won’t be friends with them. ;)

    • J.P. Bunny

      Agree, but would like to add “Why should anyone care?” “I really can’t be friends with you because of what you do in the privacy of your own bedroom.” No need for friends such as those.

    • Shiki Byakko

      Of course, just that when it is your employer or something like that you cannot chose people, and you will be discriminated.