Saturday, February 5, 2011

Japan: Governor Should Retract Homophobic Comments

The governor of Tokyo, Shintaro Ishihara, should immediately retract his recent statements denigrating lesbians and gay men, Human Rights Watch said today.

On two separate occasions in December 2010, Ishihara made comments criticizing the representation of homosexuals in the media and categorizing lesbians and gay men as "deficient" and genetically lacking. The statements were made just before and during Japan's Human Rights Awareness Week, which ended December 10, and were carried in regional and national media as well as widely disseminated on the Internet.
"Although Japan does not criminalize homosexual conduct, lesbians, gay men, and transgendered people face everyday discrimination and humiliation from their families, in the workplace, and in other social and professional settings," said Dipika Nath, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights researcher at Human Rights Watch. "Governor Ishihara's comments increase the stigma against lesbian and gay people and can promote discrimination against an already marginalized group."

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