People unable to bear children blast lawmaker’s article calling LGBT couples ‘unproductive’

Kyodo

A group of people who can’t have children due to disability or illness protested Tuesday over a recent article written by a Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker who said gay and lesbian couples are unproductive because they don’t reproduce.

Speaking at a news conference at the health ministry, they said such views deeply hurt the feelings not only of sexual minorities but also of people who cannot have children due to illness or disability.

“I cannot have children because of the effects of medication, but I don’t believe that human value is decided by whether one can have children or not,” said Hiroko Uchiyama, 43, from the city of Hachioji in western Tokyo.

In the magazine article, Mio Sugita, a House of Representatives member with the ruling LDP, wrote that there is no justification for efforts by the state and municipalities to invest taxpayers’ money into policies supporting same-sex couples because “these men and women don’t bear children — in other words, they are ‘unproductive.’ “

Shoji Nakanishi, 74, also from Hachioji, who is partially paralyzed due to a cervical spine injury, said Sugita’s view was akin to that of the man indicted for killing 19 mentally disabled people at a care home in Kanagawa Prefecture in 2016. The man had said disabled people “should be eradicated from society.”

Nakanishi said he is concerned about “a growing trend to eliminate heterogeneity from society.”

The LDP posted a message on its website last week stating that Sugita’s views did not conform with the party’s official stance on issues related to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

However, LDP No. 2, Secretary-General Toshihiro Nikai, said in late July in reference to Sugita’s article that the LDP “is a gathering of wide-ranging people from right to left. Each (LDP politician) has his or her own political position and life philosophy.”

Nakanishi denounced Nikai’s remarks, saying he “tolerates and facilitates eugenics ideas.”