Outing LGBTQ+ People Is Now Banned In Japanese Region
Outing LGBTQ+ people is now banned in a region of Japan.
On June 3, Governor Eikei Suzuki announced it is now illegal to force someone to reveal their gender identity or sexual orientation in the prefecture of Mie, making it a crime to out someone’s sexuality or gender identity without their permission.
This news has been welcomed by the LGBTQ+ community, following many people being outed without their say by a person they trusted.
The decision reportedly came after a second wave of the pandemic hit South Korea, which was believed to have been linked to the LGBTQ+ community after a COVID-19 patient had been found to have visited gay bars.
Following this, the South Korean government urged people who visited any gay bars in the country to come forward, arguably forcing them to come out against their will.
Governor Suzuki took to Twitter to share the good news on Wednesday, June 3, writing:
We have announced the establishment of our own ordinance in order for the citizens of the prefecture to better understand the diversity of sex and to eliminate discrimination and prejudice against LGBT people.
We are also planning to include regulations that prohibit the coming-out of prefectures for the first time in coming out and outing (exposing sexual orientation to a third party without the consent of the person).
The Governor has gone on to receive praise on social media for his decision.
One person replied to his tweet saying:
Thank you very much for enacting the ordinance. I think it was a courageous thing that has not been done in any prefecture yet.
I hope this will be used throughout the country, and I hope that understanding of LGBTQ and sexual minorities will advance.
In addition to this, in 2018 Tokyo passed a law banning the discrimination of LGBTQ+ people in preparation for the Olympics.
While LGBTQ+ rights in Japan are slowly improving, the country is still yet to legalise gay marriage, and ‘public outings’ are still a problem for members of the LGBTQ+ community.
In 2015, a student at the Hitotsubashi University took his own life after being outed by a fellow classmate.
After his identity was revealed, the student felt the need to visit a clinic specialising in psychosomatic disorders, the Japan Times reports.
He later texted his classmates that he ‘can no longer see this as an ideal profession’ and fell to his death off a building in an apparent suicide.
Following the verdict, Kazuyuki Minami – the student’s parents’ lawyer – said:
Outing someone destroys human relationships. […] The court offered no mention at all on the substantive question of whether or not outing is an unlawful act.
While the country still has a long way to go, it’s encouraging to see regions making steps in the right direction.
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CreditsThe Japan Times and 2 others
The Japan Times
Governor Eikei Suzuki/Twitter