Dutch LGBT rights advocate says Japan is starting along path to gay marriage

Published: May 3, 2013

The man who helped make the Netherlands the first country in the world to legalize gay marriage in 2001 has said ‘the start is happening now’ for the same in Japan.

Borris Dittrich, former Dutch MP and LGBT director for Human Rights Watch said in an interview with the 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.’

Dittrich also encouraged 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’.

In Japan for last week’s Tokyo Rainbow Pride, Dittrich said that when he visited in 2009 LGBT people were concerned about discrimination in work, but now they are talking about marriage equality – a sign of improvement. He pointed to the lesbian wedding at Tokyo Disney resort as a sign Japan is becoming more accepting of LGBT couples.

The Dutch gay rights advocate spoke at the welcoming reception of Tokyo Rainbow Week hosted by the Ambassador of the Netherlands in Japan, Radinck J van Vollenhoven, last week.

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