On January 27th, a rough draft was proposed to the council as a part of the revised proposal of Basic Act for Gender Equal Society in Fukushima Prefecture. The draft, aimed at achieving better understanding of LGBTs and setting up a consultation system at educational institutions in the prefecture will be enacted by the end of March this year. According to Japan Alliance for LGBT Legislation(J-ALL), other prefectures have already created basic plans for LGBT rights in Japan, but Fukushima Prefecture is the first local government that will start specific measures for LGBT people.
The draft added a new clause: “To achieve society where all the citizens are equally respected regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.” The new clause prevents people from forcing LGBTs to come out their sexual orientation and gender identity without consent. As part of this measure, a sex identification section in an application form of any kind has been removed and the educational institutes in the prefecture will show more support for LGBT students.
The council made a decision to compile a report calling for the ordinance’s revision and allow same-sex couples to live in public restoration housings for the victims of Fukushima nuclear disaster and 3.11 earthquake.
“We have been discriminated and suffered from prejudices since the nuclear accident happened here in Fukushima. We all know what it feels like to be discriminated. It is significant to create basic plans that embrace diversity.” A member of the council, Naoya Maekawa, known for the co-representative of “Diversity Fukushima,” an organization aimed at raising awareness of LGBTs and sexual diversity, thinks highly of the council’s decision.