Amid caution from conservative lawmakers, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party on Thursday opted to delay discussion on a draft bill to promote citizens’ understanding of LGBT people, rather than approve it as planned.
Their cautious view was voiced at an LDP meeting after the draft bill for promoting the understanding of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people was revised to include the phrase “discrimination will not be tolerated.”
The party’s Special Mission Committee on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity made the revision in line with a request from the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan and others.
The LDP will hold discussions on the draft bill again next week.
“We will create a tolerant society that accepts diversity,” Tomomi Inada, chair of the committee, told the meeting. “Only the Liberal Democratic Party, a conservative party, can do that.”
In the two-hour meeting, proponents of the bill stressed that measures to protect struggling citizens are necessary.
Meanwhile, opponents spoke out against the inclusion of the “discrimination” passage.
The committee’s original draft of the bill, featuring a clause to oblige the government to draw up a basic plan for the promotion of citizens’ understanding of LGBT people, made no mention of discrimination.
The phrase on the rejection of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity was included in the bill’s basic principle after the CDP demanded that a ban on discrimination be stipulated.
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