Japanese LDP suspends LGBT bill for current Diet session due to conservative opposition

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The ruling Liberal Democratic Party has decided not to submit a multi-party bill aimed at raising public awareness of LGBT people to the current Diet session.

The decision was taken amid difficulties in reaching consensus among PLD lawmakers, with some conservative factions voicing strong objection to the bill and blocking the approval process in the party’s General Council.

Tsutomu Sato, chairman of the council and one of the party’s top officials, told a press conference after a group meeting that it would be impossible to pass the bill before the end of the regular session of the Diet on June 16 given the current division of opinions. .

The debate revolves around a statement in the bill that “discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is unacceptable”.

Conservative PLD lawmakers have expressed concerns that the undefined scope of the discrimination could lead to frequent lawsuits.

Although the bill was approved after lengthy deliberations between the party’s special committee and the Policy Research Council board before Thursday, objections were still raised at Friday’s meeting.

“The Diet’s deliberations are proceeding on a tight schedule. The General Council cannot therefore determine its direction, ”said Sato.

With the House of Representatives election to be held by the fall and the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election campaign to begin at the end of next month, an executive committee member expressed concern to lose voter support if disagreements within the LDP continue.

Yukio Edano, leader of the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, criticized the LDP’s decision to postpone submission of the bill at a virtual party meeting, saying: “As the host country of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, it is our duty to move legislation forward. “

Tomoko Tamura, head of policy for the Communist Party of Japan, said the LDP’s handling of the bill is problematic because it “goes against the elimination of discrimination”.

The bill was drafted by the PLD’s Special Mission Committee on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, with a revision approved with opposition parties on May 14.

The committee aimed to adopt it during the current Diet session and before the start of the Tokyo Games on July 23 to reflect the Olympic Charter, which includes a declaration prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

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