Japan ruling party abandons LGBT bill as consensus elusive

Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party on Friday gave up on legislation to promote public awareness of sexual minorities, proving unable to overcome opposition within its own ranks. Tsutomu Sato, who chairs the LDP’s General Council, told a news conference that passage in the current session would be “impossible.” The bill, supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, will not be submitted before the session ends on June 16. The LDP’s long-running efforts to pass the legislation have faced strong resistance from the party’s right-wing. Proponents hoped that this summer’s Tokyo Olympics — an event celebrating diversity and unity — would provide enough momentum for a breakthrough. But in the end, the party could not muster enough support from its members. The bill was put together by a cross-party group of lawmakers based on a draft by the LDP. At the opposition’s urging, it states a goal of not tolerating “discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”