Kunitachi City to Issue an Ordinance to Prevent Public Disclosure of One’s Sexuality Without Consent.

The campus of Hitotsubashi University in Kunitachi city.

The first ordinance that bans outing will be into effect in the city of KUNITACHI, Tokyo, the city officials announced on January 30th. It was approved in the city council last December and will take into effect from this April.

Outing is the act of telling someone’s sexuality or sexual orientation to someone else without consent. The word “outing” widely spread through Japan after an university student at Hitotsubashi University threw himself off the school building and died in 2016. Before his suicide, he was outed without his consent by his classmate. (This happened in the city of KUNITACHI and this horrible incident probably led the way to the establishment of the new ordinance.)

When you take a look at the new ordinance, you will be amazed to find out that it mentions sexual diversity in it. It says “this ordinance aims at changing our city into the one where everyone can embrace themselves regardless of sex and sexual orientation and participate in all kinds of activities as equal members of the society. We ask all the citizens including educators and local businesses to cooperate with each other to make this happen. ” It also explains the definitions of words such as sexual orientation and gender identity, emphasizing that it is one of the human rights to be able to choose to reveal one’s sexual orientation to someone else and outing someone else’s sexual orientation or gender identity must not be tolerated. This ordinance is the first ordinance in Japan that mentions the freedom of revealing one’s sexual orientation or gender identity. In Russia, people can be punished if they publicly reveal their sexual orientation or gender identity. Considering that, I believe it is quite insightful.

The city of KUNITACHI has approached LGBTQ issues by offering seminars and trainings. A new institute that promotes gender equal society will open next May.