Thousands of people have gathered to call for the resignation of the Japanese MP who said that same-sex relationships would lead people to marry their pets and eventually destroy society.

Mio Sugita, a lawmaker for the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) who sits in the House of Representatives, also said the government shouldn’t use taxpayers’ money to support same-sex couples.



This was her opinion, she said, because “these men and women don’t bear children — in other words, they are ‘unproductive.’”

The two-term representative, who has also said that queer youth dying by suicide at a rate of six times that of their straight peers was less important than ensuring LGBT issues were not taught in schools, sparked outrage with the comments.

But despite the outcry, the 51-year-old politician has not been censured by her own party, which is led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

After the article, called “The level of support for ‘LGBT’ is too high,” was published, LDP secretary-general Toshihiro Nikai told reporters: “Different people have different views, let alone their political positions.”

This was despite Sugita writing that people who promote LGBT rights “could make people capable of enjoying normal romance and getting married believe that they have an option of going homosexual, which, she said, risked “increasing unhappy people.”

Sugita with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (mio sugita/facebook)

For the roughly 5,000 people who gathered outside the party’s headquarters on Friday (July 27) in Tokyo, this was unacceptable.

The crowd chanted “This is pride!” and “We don’t need a lawmaker who disregards human rights!” at the hours-long protest.

Rina Matayoshi, a 26-year-old lesbian who attended the rally, told The Japan Times: “‘Unproductive’ is not a word you use to describe human beings — LGBTs or not.”

“Silence = death” (RainbowLife___/twitter)

She felt that the LDP’s failure to punish or even condemn Sugita amounted to the same as approving of her remarks.

A trans woman at the protest called Ame Kondo said she was so upset by the politician’s remarks that she “couldn’t sleep well for a few days.”

Kondo, 26, explained: “It felt like I was being told that I don’t deserve to be alive.

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“The fact she can say these things so blithely means that she is denying the very existence of LGBTs.”

Another protestor, a 22-year-old lesbian, took the microphone at the front of the rally and told everyone present: “I won’t let anyone stop me loving a woman!

“Everyone deserves to be alive! Everyone deserves to be loved unconditionally!” she added.

“I have the freedom to live the way I want.”

Around 5,000 protesters made their feelings clear (tomoki_takayama/twitter)

Japan is relatively accepting of LGBT people compared to other Asian countries, with eight cities and city wards including Fukuoka and Sapporo having legally recognised same-sex unions.

Authorities have also started to introduce genderless uniforms into schools across the country.




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