On 24th October, a love hotel in Ikeda City, Osaka Prefecture denied a gay couple the use of its facility and the public health center for Osaka issued administrative guidance to the love hotel. The gay couple said that they had visited the love hotel in early October but the hotel denied them entry because they were both men. The couple decided to consult with the public health center and administrative guidance was issued to the love hotel. The hotel said they would carry out discussions on future measures for same-sex couples.
“It’s illegal for a hotel to deny someone the use of its facility just because they are both men.” Osaka Prefecture said.
This incident is probably the first administrative guidance issued to a love hotel to prohibit discriminatory treatment.
The gay couple wrote the story about the discriminatory treatment they received at the love hotel on their blog.
“At first I was very embarrassed, but as I started to think more and more about it, I realized I had been discriminated. Then I got so depressed like my entire body was painted black.”
“I thought I was always ready for discrimination. I believed that I could explain everything logically and handle any discriminatory treatment, but when I actually became the target, it hit me so hard I couldn’t fight it. I got too depressed and hopeless. I couldn’t stop blaming myself.”
I know some of you feel sad or angry after you read this, but fortunately the couple didn’t suffer in silence. They consulted with the public health center in Ikeda City and administrative guidance was issued to the hotel.
Most love hotels have been regarded as business hotels since Law Regulating Adult Entertainment Businesses was revised in 1985, so it is illegal for a hotel to reject guests just because they are both men.
Bengo4.com.Inc said “Hotel and Ryokan Management Law prohibits hotels from denying guests the use of their facility except when there is a possibility of causing significant nuisance to other customers. In this incident, the gay couple was denied the use of its facility simply because they were both men, so it is illegal.”
“Some people say there is a possibility of theft, voyeur, and drug abuse when two men use a love hotel. However, we can say the exact same thing to heterosexual couples. The fear of two men using a love hotel probably comes from prejudice towards gays and lesbians. Opinions such as ‘I feel uncomfortable when I see a same-sex couple in a love hotel’ or ‘it is unavoidable to reject same-sex couples if other customers feel uncomfortable.’ are based on discriminatory ideas that the existence of minority groups itself causes significant nuisance to other guests. There opinions are based on discrimination and prejudice and are violations of human rights. It is the same as the incident that happened in Kumamoto Prefecture, 2003. A hotel rejected leprosy patients. It is very difficult to earn public understanding of minority groups in Japan.”
Unfortunately, there are many more love hotels that deny gay couples services in Japan.
The public health center for Osaka gave guidance to a hotel that rejected a group of two men in 2006.
In addition to that, Taiga Ishikawa, an openly gay ward councillor, stressed the importance of giving administrative guidance to 30 hotels and ryokans that illegally reject same-sex guests in Toshima Ward and administrative guidance was issued to those hotels.