Thousands of angry protesters rallied on Friday night in front of the headquarters of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, calling for the resignation of junior lawmaker Mio Sugita, who had earlier branded the nation's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community "unproductive."

Sugita is facing nationwide criticism over an article she contributed to in the latest issue of conservative magazine Shincho 45, in which she argued that taxpayer money shouldn't be invested into policies supporting same-sex couples because "these men and women don't bear children — in other words, they are 'unproductive.' "

Many joined the rally after a hashtag went viral on social media encouraging people to gather and unite in a show of protest against the two-term lawmaker.