HRW LGBT chief says Japan en route to marriage equality


LGBT Director of New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) Borris Dittrich said that he believes the process has begun in Japan that will see the country move toward passing marriage equality legislation.

Dittrich, known for his leadership as a Dutch member of Parliament that helped the European country become the first in the world to grant marriage equality, was speaking in an interview with Japan Daily Press.

“I believe that if they [LGBT people and advocacy groups] organize very well and if they make connections to politicians in Japan, you know one day it might start. It might take years, but the start is happening now,” he said.

Dittrich also called on the Japanese people and the government to “become more vocal about LGBT rights’ and described Japan as ‘already in a care group of LGBT-friendly countries.”

Dittrich, who was in Japan for Tokyo Rainbow Pride, said that when he visited in 2009 LGBT people were concerned about discrimination in work, but are presently talking about marriage equality.

He pointed to the lesbian wedding at Tokyo Disney resort as a sign Japan is becoming more accepting of LGBT couples.

“For those of you who think marriage equality in Japan is too far away,” said Dittrich at a reception ahead of the pride event. “I would like to say the future is not in front of you, the future is inside you and you can make it happen.”


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