A Japanese district has come out in support of LGBT rights. With over 170,000 residents, the government ward Yodogawa in Osaka has become the first Japanese district to pass a resolution on LGBT issues.
“In order to make this city a livable place for a diversity of people, Yodogawa Ward respects the human rights of LGBT people,” reads the resolution.
“Therefore, we will carry out staff human rights training in regards to the LGBT community; disperse accurate information about the LGBT community; support the activities of the LGBT community and listen to the voices of the LGBT community.”
The resolution passed after meeting with residents, which include the first gay couple to marry at Tokyo Disney in March, Hiroko and Koyuki Higashi.
While not overtly homophobic, Japan hasn’t made any real legal efforts to improve LGBT life. Currently, the country does not legalize marriage equality or LGBT discrimination protections, even though a few cities have their own individual anti-discrimination ordinances. Tokyo Disneyland allows LGBT couples to have wedding ceremonies on its premises despite lack of formal legal recognition.
In April 2013, Japan started its first Rainbow Week to reach out to Japanese LGBT citizens.
“This is our first attempt to link up with many groups of sexual minorities,” said organizer Hiroko Masuhara, according to Pink News. “The parade is a symbolic event in the Rainbow Week programme.”