Japan’s LGBTQ Bill Set for Step Toward Passage by End of Session

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(Bloomberg) -- Japan’s long-delayed bill promoting understanding of LGBTQ individuals is set for a vote in a lower house committee on Friday, in a step toward passage by the end of the parliamentary session on June 21.

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Years of stalling by conservatives in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party had prevented the bill from making progress. A scandal over discriminatory remarks made by an aide to Prime Minister Fumio Kishida prompted the party to rush a watered-down version to parliament days ahead of the Group of Seven summit in Japan last month, in what appeared to be an attempt to avoid embarrassment.

The bill, which stops short of outlawing discrimination against LGBTQ individuals, will be discussed and voted on in the Cabinet Committee on Friday, according to an official at parliament. It must then be passed by a plenary session and gain approval from the upper house before becoming law. Kishida’s ruling coalition has a majority in both houses of parliament.

Japan Looks to Pass Watered-Down LGBTQ Bill as G-7 Looms

Japan is the only member of the G-7 without legal recognition for same-sex unions and it lacks legislation protecting the rights of sexual and gender minorities. Business lobbies have complained the situation hampers their ability to recruit global talent and other members of G-7 had pressed Japan to make progress.

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