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HOME  > Past issues  > 2015 April 15 - 21  > Let’s create a society where everyone can be true to themselves
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2015 April 15 - 21 [SOCIAL ISSUES]
column 

Let’s create a society where everyone can be true to themselves

April 21, 2015
Akahata “current” column

In the mid-1980s, in Britain, Prime Minister Margret Thatcher’s policy to shut down coal mines aroused a wave of strikes. Triggered by TV reports on the strikes, a young man living in London launched a campaign to raise money to support mineworkers.

He appealed to his LGBT activists that miners, their families, and gay people were targets of Thatcher and police. He established a group called, Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM), by calling the conservative government led by Thatcher the “enemy”. Struggling with disputes and prejudice against sexual minorities, group members strengthened their solidarity with the miners. This is portrayed in the film titled “Pride” which is now showing in theaters nationwide.

The conservative Thatcher administration pushed forward with its privatization and anti-union policies. It also took a tough stance towards lesbians and gays. In the film, which is inspired by a true story, union workers and LGBT activists, both fighting against oppression by the authorities, come together through solidarity and friendship.

In March 2014, laws allowing same-sex marriages came into force in England and Wales for the first time in Britain which introduced a system giving same-sex couples essentially the same legal rights as married, opposite sex couples 10 years ago.

Even in Japan, which lags behind the world on this issue, Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward this month implemented an ordinance issuing “partnership” certificates to same-sex couples. Despite the lack of provisions of legal rights, authorization of same-sex relationships by a local government is a first important step toward creating a society where everyone has equal rights under the law.

The Japanese Communist Party in the Shibuya Ward Assembly supported the ordinance. JCP lawmaker Ikeuchi Saori also urged the government in the Diet to protect LGBT human rights. In contrast, the Liberal Democratic Party opposed the recognition of same-sex couples. Its outdated stance on human rights is called into question.

Past related articles:
> Same-sex couple certification ordinance passed in Shibuya [April 1, 2015]
> JCP Ikeuchi pushes gov’t to protect LGBT rights [March 6, 2015]
> Discussion on same-sex marriage has finally begun in Japan [February 23, 2015]
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