A survey by a newspaper in Japan has revealed how few ruling-party lawmakers in Japan support equal marriage.
Only 9% of Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) candidates in upcoming Upper House elections said they would support same-sex marriage.
Newspaper Asahi Shimbun gave Upper House candidates from all parties to choose one of five options on same-sex marriages:
‘support,’ ‘support if I have to choose,’ ‘oppose,’ ‘oppose if I have to choose’ and ‘I cannot decide.’
Thirty-six percent of the LDP candidates said they opposed same-sex marriages or opposed them if they had to choose.
Only nine percent supported same-sex marriages or supported them if they had to choose.
But, 55 percent, answered that they could not decide.
Conservative Japan does not allow same-sex marriage. National laws do not protect LGBTI people from discrimination.
LDP lawmakers are known for anti-LGBTI comments. Last month, the party announced a draft bill aiming to improve understanding of LGBT issues. Local LGBTI rights activists slammed it for failing to address marriage or discrimination.
Since 2016, local municipalities have been providing couples with limited recognition in government hospitals and housing.
Ibaraki Prefecture became the first of Japan’s 47 prefectures to implement the partnership certification system.
This year, 13 couples also launched a court case against the government to recognize their same-sex partnerships.
Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party is known for its anti-LGBT stance. Its lawmakers have made homophobic comments. And, the administration has shown little interest in advancing LGBT rights.
But, Asahi Shimbun found opposition to same-sex marriage among LDP lawmakers fell since the last election.
The survey also found a majority of LDP’s coalition partner party, and opposition parties, supported same-sex marriage.
The largest opposition party, Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDP),has drafted bills to end discrimination and bring marriage equality.
Earlier this month, the CDP joined other opposition parties to draft a bill that would change the country’s definition of marriage from a ‘man and a woman’.
In October last year, CDP announced it would introduce LGBTI anti-discrimination legislation to the country’s legislature.
But, the ruling, conservative, LDP currently holds a two-thirds majority in parliament.