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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.

    • 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

      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. ;)