Mr. Gay Japan Encourages Everyone to Sign This Petition for Marriage Equality in Japan
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The below op-ed was written by the organization Mr. Gay Japan about the push for Japanese marriage equality.
I hope and want to believe that everyone agrees that LGBTQ+ visibility is very important, and seeing Japanese marriage equality petition numbers grow will give hope to those wanting changes in Japanese society.
This is especially so in a conservative country like Japan where traditionally we are trained to follow unspoken rules and manners.
There is an organization called Marriage for all Japan, which on Feb. 14, 2019, started a class-action lawsuit for marriage equality in Japan to the district courts of Sapporo, Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka. An additional case was started on Sept. 5, 2019, in Fukuoka. We have been in communication with them to find a way to support this case. Initially we were thinking of joining forces with their Marriage Equality Petition, however, we learned from them that gathering petitions from different groups has more impact.
Japan is the only country in the G7 to not recognize marriage equality, and in this modern age we feel this must be changed. I have learned from comments on our campaign that people outside of Japan did not even know there is no marriage equality in Japan.
This is the reason why Mr. Gay Japan has initiated a Marriage Equality Campaign on change.org.
As a Chairperson for Mr. Gay Japan, I have always thought of the best ways to communicate better understanding of the LGBTQ community in Japan, alongside our running committee and Mr. Gay Japan finalists. Since starting Mr. Gay Japan three years ago, we are finally at a place where our platform has enough background support to continue our campaign strongly. Alongside other LGBTQ-related communities in Japan, we are able to stand up and voice our message of #LoveIsLove.
As well as spreading our campaign in Japan, it is very important that we are able to collect voices from all around the world, and to visualize this approach we created a campaign video in both Japanese and English. We believe that when all these individual voices will gather, it will create a stronger impact.
From my personal point of view, I am a cisgender gay male born between Japan and England. I have always faced difficulties in “fitting in” in Japan. Just by being mixed-race, even before my queer identity kicked in. For me, choosing a country to live happily is like choosing one side of my parents who has given me so much love as I grew up.
I am currently a resident in Tokyo, and I have a longterm partner. We dream of having our own family one day, waking up to our own beautiful kids. In Japan, legally we are not able to have children. I hope that in the near future I can truly be myself, in a country called Japan which I love so much.
Please kindly check out our petition on change.org for more details on the current LGBTQ+ status, and I would thank everyone from the bottom of my heart if you could sign and spread the campaign further.