Equal vs. special rights for gays

A more accurate headline for the Dec. 7 Kyodo article “LDP: Gays don’t need special rights” would be “LDP: Gays don’t need equal rights.” Based on The Japan Times’ headline, I expected to read about the Liberal Democratic Party advocating against bestowing some unique and “special” rights to gay people, but I found that wasn’t the case at all.

According to the report, the LDP was asked if there was a need “for measures to protect the human rights of sexual minorities,” to which the LDP replied no. By definition, “human rights” extend to all humans, so they can’t be considered “special” rights. Or is the article implying that sexual minorities are not humans?

The article further states that the LDP believes “systems such as social security and inheritance benefits” should be intended “for heterosexual couples.” This is a case of withholding a right given to one group of people from another group. If same-sex couples were included, it would be giving an equal right, not a “special” right.

While I appreciate the unbiased and informative content of the article, the choice of headline displays a discriminatory bias that I hope editors will guard against in the future.

tyler kinkade
kagoshima

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.