As Japanese lawmakers grapple with a landmark same-sex marriage bill, campaigners fear it may die at the first legislative hurdle as lawmakers pander to aging voters and old traditions.

While surveys show overwhelming support for gay rights, most people who identify as LGBT say they keep their sexuality a secret in a nod to the reverence for harmony that pervades the country.

"Japan is a culture where people don't want to stick out and cause trouble," said Alexander Dmitrenko, co-chair of Lawyers for LGBT & Allies Network, an NGO that promotes LGBT rights.