Our statement on the Passage of the Saitama Prefecture Ordinance for the Development of a Society That Respects Sexual Diversity

by Rainbow Saitama

July 7, 2022

On July 7, 2022, the Saitama Prefectural Assembly passed an Ordinance aimed at the “Creation of a Society Respecting Sexual Diversity” at a plenary session.

Since its inception, Rainbow Saitama has striven to guide Saitama into a “Land of Color” where everyone can live as they are.  This work has focused mainly on making policy proposals to local governments and other organizations in the prefecture.

This ordinance generally incorporates comprehensive measures concerning sexual minorities that we have long been advocating for and requesting, such as prohibition of discriminatory treatment based on sexual orientation and gender identity, prohibition of outing, the development of partnership and family-ship systems, and the establishment of a consultation system for the LGBTQ community.

The 2020 survey by Saitama Prefecture of LGBTQ+

 residents reported that more than 60% of the respondents “felt that life was not worth living,” “wished they could die”, or considered the possibility of suicide.   Despite these tragic and shocking results, there has been persistent and repeated criticism of the proposed ordinance by some media and organizations.  These attacks ignore the reality faced by sexual minorities and are based in unscientific, discriminatory, and prejudicial beliefs that only further harm and belittle the LGBTQ+ community.

Our transgender siblings are particularly harmed and targeted by such “criticism.” These views include blatantly discriminatory words and actions that turn a blind eye to the reality and the difficulties faced by the socially vulnerable to the point of depriving them of the hope for a life free from hateful attacks and scrutiny.

We believe that the enactment of this ordinance will be a major step forward in promoting understanding in a society that has too long been filled with discrimination and prejudice.  We sincerely hope this ordinance will provide a degree of healing and a glimmer of hope for the LGBTQ+ community and their families.

Make no mistake, the issues facing the LGBTQ+ community are human rights issues, and should not be influenced by the specific beliefs, ideals, or opinions of another sector of society.  Strong political leadership on behalf of sexual minorities is needed to resolve these issues. Following the spread of policies such as partnership and family-ship systems in municipalities across Saitama Prefecture, we welcome the enactment of this ordinance by a majority vote in the Saitama Prefectural Assembly and look forward to concrete initiatives based on this ordinance.