National

Chiba Bar Association to remove gender boxes from forms in line with new LGBT-sensitive policy

Kyodo

A local bar association said Wednesday that its policy toward the creation of a respectful environment for sexual minorities calls for removing unnecessary sex-identity questions on registration forms.

The Chiba Bar Association said it came up with the guidelines, the first of their kind on LGBT issues, following exchanges with groups of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

In the guidelines, the association said it will remove gender boxes on forms that visitors are asked to complete during consultations and other events, if deemed unnecessary. It will also make all-gender restrooms more accessible for LGBT people.

“It’s an issue of basic human rights, but we’re not making sufficient effort. We will promote the idea (upheld in the policy),” said Satoshi Oikawa, who heads the association, based in Chiba Prefecture.

The association also plans to strengthen counseling services for LGBT people, and will allow them to use names they prefer instead of their given name.

The guidelines will be posted on the association’s website. The association plans to offer a hotline service for LGBT people next month.