APCOM endorses Pride7 Communiqué as Tokyo Rainbow Pride takes to the street calling for Marriage Equality ahead of G7 Summit

By April 24, 2023 Advocacy, Regional

Image: The Japan Times | Ryusei Takahashi

Pride7 Communiqué

We, at Pride7, support the Group of Seven (G7) values of human rights, democracy, and the rule of law. We gathered for the first Pride7 Summit in Tokyo on March 30, 2023, under the leadership of the Japanese lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA+) community, who have been fighting for years for LGBTQIA+ rights, including for an inclusive non-discrimination law, marriage equality, rights-respecting bodily autonomy, and gender self-determination. 

Even though in 2023 the world will celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, people around the world, in and out of the G7 countries, face violence and inequality— sometimes torture or death — because of who they love, how they look and express themselves, or who they are. The G7 governments should stand as global leaders and ensure their laws, policies, and practices meet international human rights standards to protect LGBTQIA+ people, and take robust actions to address abuses and harassment around the world.

Building on the visibility of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics (SOGIESC) issues under the United Kingdom and German G7 presidencies, we are therefore calling on the G7 governments to promote and strengthen their political and financial      support and protections in the areas of SOGIESC. 

Pride7 calls for G7 leaders to commit to:

(1) Ensure SOGIESC issues are included in G7 Leaders’ Communiques, as LGBTQIA+ people face discrimination in every aspect of society, and recognize Pride7 as the official means to address those issues. 

(2) Promote the rule of law to protect the rights of LGBTQIA+ people to tackle barriers such as discrimination in employment, education, health care and social service systems within and outside of their countries. 

(3) Enact new laws and enforce existing laws on equal opportunities and protection against discrimination and violence in order to reduce barriers and uphold equality and equity for transgender, non-binary, and all other gender non-conforming people. This includes legal gender recognition on the basis of self-determination. 

(4) Ensure full, equal, safe, and meaningful participation of LGBTQIA+ people in all spheres of society, including politics, economy, education, employment, health care, social welfare, culture and sports, the institution of marriage, and legal recognition of families in all their diversity.      

(5) Promote consistent mainstreaming of LGBTQIA+ equality into all policy areas by implementing necessary legal, financial, educational and all other viable measures.

(6) Adopt measures to prevent discrimination against and stigmatization of LGBTQIA+ people, and strengthen support systems for those at risk of violence, isolation, and poverty.

(7) Protect people born with variations in their sex characteristics – also known as intersex people – from medically unnecessary and non-consensual interventions to “normalize” their bodies. Ensure intersex people have access to health care based on their individual informed consent, and without barriers related to sexism, pathologizing, and stigmatization. Intersex people should be able to self-determine their gender identities and health needs regardless of their sex assigned at birth, gender binary norms or hetero-normative norms, or other gender stereotypes.  

(8) Counter the rising attacks against women in all their diversity, as well as people of diverse genders and sexualities, across the globe, including transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people, by shedding light on structural discrimination and violence stemming from hetero-normative gender norms.

(9) Ensure that G7 host governments show leadership in fulfilling their duty by instituting laws that guarantee equality regardless of SOGIESC status, in line with international human rights standards including in the forms of non-discrimination legislation, marriage equality, bodily autonomy and gender self-determination.

(10) Strengthen the Equal Rights Coalition (ERC), an intergovernmental body of 42 Member States for the protection of the rights of LGBTI persons, by being its proactive members and making further efforts to advance its goals. 

(11) Recognize Pride7 as an official civil society engagement group, alongside the seven existing G7 official engagement groups, such as W7, C7, and Y7, and pledge to consult Pride7 again in advance of the Italian presidency of the G7 next year.      

*Please note that endorsing this Pride7 Communique means support to the values of human rights, democracy, and the rule of law but does not necessarily mean the support to G7 itself.  

* The terms used in this communique are based on discussions in the international community, as well as on past G7 and W7 discussions and achievements.

* We acknowledge that the way gender and sexual minorities identify themselves should be respected.

Background on Japanese LGBTQ+ situation:

Japanese LGBTQ+ community and Human Rights Watch launched a big campaign leading up to
Tokyo Olympics in 2021 to pass none-discrimination bill and it was blocked
at the end because of the resistance from some ultra conservative MPs in the ruling LDP party.

Japan is the only G7 country without LGBT non-discrimination law, or no legal recognition of same-sex marriage
(Other G6 members have same sex marriage, and Italy has civil union law).  

Japan ranks 34th in the 35 OECD countries in terms of LGBTI inclusive laws (2020)

Ahead of the G7 leaders’ summit, peer nations are encouraging Japan to enact non-discrimination law. Ambassadors from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, UK, US, and EU issued an official letter
to Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio, which reads “Japan can match its international
advocacy for human rights with a domestic agenda that includes steps to protect
its own LGBTQI+ communities, including enacting legal protections for its LGBTQI+ citizens.”

APCOM’s Executive Director took part in the recent Pride 7 Summit in Tokyo. 

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