City assembly member in hot water over discriminatory tweets about same-sex marriage


Staff Writer

Municipal assembly leaders in Ebina, Kanagawa Prefecture, issued a warning Monday to Masumi Tsurusashi, a 71-year-old assemblyman, over discriminatory remarks he made on his Twitter account about gay marriage.

“These comments constituted a rash action by Tsurusashi, a public servant, and we issued a warning after what happened,” said Kento Morishita, head of the municipal assembly, after a meeting of party leaders to discuss the issue.

The warning came after Tsurusashi posted three tweets Sunday criticizing the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, saying that gay love is abnormal and criticizing the media by saying they should not report the activities of abnormal people. He also said such people are biologically strange. After a storm of criticism, Tsurusashi removed the comments later Sunday.

The Ebina Municipal Assembly has not yet advised him to resign, but will decide what to do after it hears from him about the incident.

Tsurusashi’s tweets came in response to the results of a study by researchers at the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research on public attitudes toward LGBT people, including same-sex marriage.

Over 1,200 people replied to the survey, which was conducted earlier this year but released Saturday. A slim majority of 51.1 percent said they approved of legalizing gay marriage.

Tsurusashi told local media Sunday that he had seen the survey results in the media when he was drunk and that he had not intended his comments to be discriminatory.

  • CLJF

    I’m assuming that if the assemblyman had simply said he did not agree with or support this there would have been no problem.

    • Harry Underwood

      Better: “I don’t understand homosexuality/same-gender love and wish that someone could enlighten me about its legitimacy.”

      • CLJF

        Not better, as this implies he should agree with a certain view. A person should be able to express a view that is contrary to another’s view without being vilified for it, providing that view is expressed in a manner that is not hateful and derogatory.