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As some of you may know, this week is “Rainbow Week” in Japan. Rainbow Week is designed to raise awareness of issues facing gay, lesbian, and transgender people.

You may also have seen in the news that the first gay wedding was held at Tokyo Disneyland recently. Of course, same-sex marriages have no legal standing in Japan, but it is refreshing to see that the idea of gay couples seems to be gaining more acceptance.

Gay marriage is quite a hot topic in both the US and the UK at the moment. As far as I understand (and I hope Kattie will correct me if I’m wrong), “civil partnerships” between gay people are legal in the UK, but gay people cannot actually get married. The prime minister has said that this government is going to change the law so that gay couples have exactly the same rights as heterosexual ones, and this has caused a lot of trouble within his political party.

As usual, one of the biggest opponents of gay marriage is the church. I would have thought that with all the recent scandals, the Catholic church in particular would have had the decency to keep a low profile, but apparently, there are still a lot of people who think they have the right to decide how others should live their lives.

For example, a man called Keith O’Brien was, until recently, the most senior Catholic bishop in Scotland. For many years, he campaigned against gay people and gay issues. He described the idea of gay marriage as disgusting and “grotesque.” He was forced to resign in February this year when it was discovered that he was, in fact, gay himself. He was “outed” when a number of priests came forward to complain about his unwanted sexual advances.

As you might have guessed, I am in favour of legalising gay marriage. Actually, it might be more accurate to say that I am more in favour of not discriminating against one particular group of society. I believe that your sexuality is something that you are born with – some people are gay, and some people are not. The argument that gay relationships are “not natural” is ridiculous. If they were not natural, people would not be born gay.

In Japan, I think there is a general lack of awareness of LBGT issues. (“LBGT” stands for “Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, Transgender.) If I ever mention to a Japanese person that a friend or colleague is gay, they always say, “So he is a foreigner, of course?” I have even had Japanese people tell me that “There are no gay people in Japan,” which is such a stupid thing to say that I don’t even know how to react. I’m not a historian, but as I understand it, homosexuality was both common and widely accepted in Japan in years gone by. Have a look at this article for details.

One gay Western friend who lives in Japan told me that there are a large number of gay men here, but that many of them are married and have children because they are too scared to be open about their sexuality. These men go to saunas and clubs (of which there are many, apparently) to meet other men for sex.

As you know, I like to address controversial issues on this blog, so I would like to hear your thoughts on this topic, and particularly on the subject of gay marriage.

Look forward to reading your comments.

このブログは英語学習者のためのものです。レベルの高い人もいれば、初心者もいますので、自分のレベルや学習経験を気にする必要はありません。「いつもコメントを書いている人は仲間みたいだから参加しにくい」と思う方もいるかもしれませんが、勇気を出してコメントを書いてみてください。必ず温かく迎えてもらえます。多くのコメントは英語で書かれていますが、もちろん日本語もOKですし、英語と日本語を混ぜて書いても大丈夫です。言いたいことが言えないときは、How do you say 「〜」in English? と聞けば、きっとだれかが教えてくれると思います。私のエントリー、または他のメンバーのコメントの中に分からないところがあったら、「”…”はどういう意味ですか?」と遠慮なく聞いてください。このブログで使われているフレーズや表現をたくさん吸収すると、より自然な英語に近づけることができますよ!

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39 Comments

  1. Mika on Monday April 29th, 2013 at 09:26 PM

    Hi David and everyone,

    As far as I know, there aren’t any gay, lesbian, and transgender people around me. Therefore I have never thought seriously about those people.
    However, recently it seems like the culture has changed. I’m not sure but many people aren’t conscious of them being strange people, rather they just naturally consider them as individual human beings. Maybe, ability and who they are is what is important. But, so far, I can’t accept them, sorry.

    >Gay marriage is quite a hot topic in both the US and the UK at the moment.
    They might think that they don’t think there are any borders in marriage, so in the end it’s personality.

    Hi David,
    I know you are very busy, but may I ask you? If you have enough time, I want to hear your impression of your lecture last Saturday and Sunday.



  2. YU on Monday April 29th, 2013 at 11:34 PM

    Hi David and everyone,

    >“civil partnerships” between gay people are legal in the UK, but gay people cannot actually get married.

    The other day, I watched a “variety show” introducing a British gay couple who were spending their “honeymoon” in Japan.
    I wonder if the same program would have been allowed to air 20 years ago.
    By the way, it was aired in the prime time, not in the late-night time.

    > As you might have guessed, I am in favour of legalising gay marriage.

    I’m not against legalising gay marriage, but to be honest, I don’t really understand why they are so eager to marry because they can live together until they die if they want.
    What is the purpose of their marriage?
    Is it maybe just the same as heterosexual people? I mean, some people want to marry, but some people don’t stick to the form of marriage at all.

    >I have even had Japanese people tell me that “There are no gay people in Japan,”

    !!! How old are they??
    If you turn on TV, you’ll see a number of Japanese gay entertainers every day. I think they are fully accepted in TV industry, but it seems that some of them were disowned by their parents when they “outed”. That means, there are many people who are against homosexuality in Japan. Or maybe they can’t accept it because it is their sons.
    I like gay entertainers because they are often smart and funny, but I might like them just because they aren’t members of my family.



  3. Fumie on Tuesday April 30th, 2013 at 05:58 AM

    Hi David,

    Glad to hear that you had a great time at Housoudaigaku. People who had your lectures must have had a great time, too.
    I gave my first presentation using Power Point on Sunday. I tried not to be nervous but I was. I want to be able to do that while I enjoy doing it.
    昨日、研修で初めてパワポを使った発表をしました。緊張しないようにと臨んだんですがやはり緊張しました。楽しみながらプリゼンできるようになるのが目標です。

    As for the topic, there is little awareness of homosexuality in Japan. But actually, as you pointed out, there are many gay people. But because of people’s lack of awareness of LBGT issues, they hide their sexualities. Japan must be uneasy/ not pleasant place to live for them.
    >If I ever mention to a Japanese person that a friend or colleague is gay, they always say, “So he is a foreigner, of course?” I have even had Japanese people tell me that “There are no gay people in Japan,” which is such a stupid thing to say that I don’t even know how to react.
    People misunderstand the fact and say such a stupid things.
    As you said, one’s sexuality is something that you are born with. So we shouldn’t discriminate against gay people. I’m in favour of civil partnerships (I’m not sure the meaning of this word, is this mean gay relationships?) still, I’m against gay marriage. Because one of the purpose of marriage is having children. They(gay couples)can’t have children of their own.
    日本にもゲイの人たちはたくさんいるけれど、世間がそのことに気づいていないし、理解も少ないから、ゲイであることを隠している人が多いと思う。
    ゲイは生まれながらのものだし、そのことで差別はおかしいし、同性愛は認めるべきだと思います。けれど同棲婚は認めるべきではないと思う。というのは結婚の1つの目的は子供をもうけることだから、ゲイどうしではできないことだから



  4. Biwa on Tuesday April 30th, 2013 at 08:45 AM

    Hi everyone,

    >I believe that your sexuality is something that you are born with – some people are gay, and some people are not. The argument that gay relationships are “not natural” is ridiculous. If they were not natural, people would not be born gay.

    I think what David says is very convincing.

    This kind of topic always reminds me of TV programs featuring “gender identity disordered people(性同一性障害者)”. Most of the stories show how difficult their lifes were until they confessed the fact, and people around them accepted it. I also think these few people who were actually able to confess the truth were very lucky, and that there must be more and more people who are still suffering. Discriminating these people just because they are the minority sounds like discriminating other groups of people for various reasons.

    I don’t think having children is always the purpose of getting married, but there seems to be many advantages of legal marriage when gay couples want to create a family of their own. What’s more, if they decided to adopt children, I think it’s very important that the children are accepted from the society and receive the same social security benefits as the children from heterosexual couples.

    P.S.
    David, I’ve posted a comment in the last entry.



  5. YU on Tuesday April 30th, 2013 at 09:51 AM

    Hi David and everyone,

    > One gay Western friend who lives in Japan told me that there are a large number of gay men here, but that many of them are married and have children because they are too scared to be open about their sexuality.

    I feel sorry for them, but I feel sorry for the wives and children, too. It sounds like they got married not because they loved the women. Do all those gay men really love their wives?

    Hi Biwa and everyone,

    > What’s more, if they decided to adopt children, I think it’s very important that the children are accepted from the society and receive the same social security benefits as the children from heterosexual couples.

    I agree, but at the same time, I think those children should have choices, too. I mean, living as children from heterosexual couples or homosexual couples.
    So, it would be nice if gay couples could receive the same social security benefits as heterosexual couples when they marry or adopt children, but I’m not 100% agree with that they adopt children unless they(children) are enough old to understand what homosexuality is.
    I know all children can’t choose their parents, either, though.

    By the way, if your son was gay and wanted to marry a man, could you agree with it?
    Like David and you, I’m in favour of not discriminating against one particular minority group, too, but I doubt if I can agree with my own son’s gay marriage. Probably I can’t because I myself don’t want to be discriminated. Reaction from our relatives worries me, too as I suspect they would be also discriminated because of my son’s marriage.

    As a mother, of course, I want him to live happily with his dear partner, but I can’t help considering those problems under the present conditions in Japan.



  6. Biwa on Tuesday April 30th, 2013 at 01:52 PM

    Hi YU,

    I understand what you mean, and I have to admit I feel quite relieved that my sons are not gays so far. However, I hope I could be the first one to side with them if they confessed with great courage that they were. I know it would not be that easy to accept, and that I’m saying something very beautiful, but I still would want to support them.

    My parents used to have a Japanese gay friend. He was the same age as my mother(70), but he passed away more than 15 years ago. I have never really talked with him, but from my parents stories, he lived back and forth between San Francisco and Paris and sometimes Tokyo, and he worked as an interior decorator. He seemed to be very talented, but I guess for his sexuality, he had no choice but to leave his home country, Japan. I think both San Francisco and Paris were easier than Japan for gays to live even more than 20 years ago. Situations must have changed a lot, but I guess it’s still hard for gays to live in Japan and many other countries.



  7. YU on Tuesday April 30th, 2013 at 03:20 PM

    Hi Biwa,

    > I know it would not be that easy to accept, and that I’m saying something very beautiful,

    Actually, I hesitated to say it.

    > but I still would want to support them.

    I wish I could support my son, but I’m sure I’ll never be abe to do that because I put myself first. My son is the most precious in the world, I can risk my life for him if he is in danger, but I don’t think I can sacrifice my current living for his gay marriage.
    However, it might be easier for me to accept the fact that my son is gay if I lived in the countries gays are accepted.

    > but I guess it’s still hard for gays to live in Japan and many other countries.

    I agree, I think it’s still hard for gays and their families and relatives to live in Japan.
    I think some Japanese parents learn to accept that their sons or daughters are gays if they are really succeed like Ikko, はるな愛 or マツコ.



  8. Anne on Tuesday April 30th, 2013 at 05:10 PM

    Hi David and everyone,

    >I am in favour of legalising gay marriage. Actually, it might be more accurate to say that I am more in favour of not discriminating against one particular group of society.
    —–I couldn’t agree with you more!

    Actually, I had a chance to discuss this topic with my friends a couple of years ago. Same as other members mentioned, I thought about the following situation: If my son said to me ‘I’m gay.’, what my answer to him would be.
    My answer was simple: I would accept and support him even though I was surprised with what he had said to me.

    I’m not familiar with the situation in the UK, but I sometimes read the news in the US that students are bullied because of his(her) sexual orientation. It’s really said, isn’t it? As David referred, I guess, one of the reasons is the religion.
    Also, I think gay marriage should be legalized because each couple should have the same right and benefit as a citizen. This makes each couple easy to adopt a child.

    >I have even had Japanese people tell me that “There are no gay people in Japan,”
    —I can’t believe how s/he comes to think that way!

    I know a guy who changed his gender. When I first met him, he was a bit girly but I was not sure about his transgender. I was guessing if he was changing or not. After knowing how he has been facing this issue himself, there’s nothing to change my image toward him(or her? now).

    Hi Fumie,
    >I’m against gay marriage. Because one of the purpose of marriage is having children. They(gay couples)can’t have children of their own.

    I understand what you mean, however, what about the heterosexual couples who don’t(can’t) have a baby? “Having children” is “ONE” of the purposes and they have a choice to have children in different ways.

    Hi YU
    >I’m not 100% agree with that they adopt children unless they(children) are enough old to understand what homosexuality is.
    —That’s a very difficult problem, and if couples have to wait to adopt until children get old enough to understand, I guess its system doesn’t work well.



  9. Fumie on Wednesday May 1st, 2013 at 05:03 AM

    Hi Anne,

    >I understand what you mean, however, what about the heterosexual couples who don’t(can’t) have a baby? “Having children” is “ONE” of the purposes and they have a choice to have children in different ways.
    I know what you mean. If heterosexual couples are allowed to have children in different ways, homosexual couples should be allowed to do that, too.
    But, I think each cases are little different. Heterosexual couples have innate abilities to have their own children but homosexual couples don’t have such abilities. So, I think gay marriage is ethically wrong.
    自信がないので日本語で
    Anneの言ってる意味はわかります。結婚の1つの目的が子供を作ることだというけれど、同性婚でも子供に恵まれなければ、別の方法で子供を迎えるという選択もある。
    私は2つのケースはちょっと違うような気がします。同性婚では子供を作る機能が生まれながらにありますが、異性婚にそれはないから、論理的に異性婚は良くない気がするんです。



  10. Biwa on Wednesday May 1st, 2013 at 08:24 AM

    Hi David,

    >”Sweater” could be singular or plural because the meaning is obvious from the context.

    Thank you for your reply. It’s very helpful.

    Hi YU,

    I don’t think the example sentences were wrong, either. As you say, they were just “not clear”. Anyway, it was a good exercise. Thank you!

    Hi Fumie,

    >Heterosexual couples have innate abilities to have their own children but homosexual couples don’t have such abilities. So, I think gay marriage is ethically wrong.

    I think that is the main reason why the Catholic Church or Islamic countries are against gay marriage. That’s why some countries guarantee the rights for gay couples by enacting laws as “civil partnership” instead of legally approving gay marriage.



  11. amo on Wednesday May 1st, 2013 at 08:33 AM

    Hi Fumie,

    I am in a hurry but I can’t let your typos ride.
    >??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

    In this sentence, you seemed to write the two words the other way around.
    ???>???????>???



  12. David on Wednesday May 1st, 2013 at 08:42 AM

    Hi Fumie,

    “Heterosexual couples have innate abilities to have their own children but homosexual couples don’t have such abilities. So, I think gay marriage is ethically wrong.”

    If you follow this argument, then surely heterosexual couples who cannot have children (and there are lots of them) should not be allowed to marry either. Also, the question of what is “ethically wrong” evolves over time. At one time, it was quite ethically correct in many parts of the world to keep slaves. In other parts of the world even today, it is quite ethically correct for a man to have four wives.



  13. amo on Wednesday May 1st, 2013 at 08:52 AM

    It’s me again.
    Something wrong with my iPhone.

    ???? should be

    同性婚では子供を作る機能が生まれながらにありますが、異性婚にそれはないから、論理的に異性婚は良くない気がするんです。
    And you wrote the words(同姓婚and異性婚)the other way around, didn’t you??

    If I have time tonight, I will write my own comment on this topic.

    Oh, I should go back to work.
    Have a nice day,
    amo



  14. Biwa on Wednesday May 1st, 2013 at 09:27 AM

    Hi YU,

    >I wish I could support my son, but I’m sure I’ll never be abe to do that because I put myself first.

    I’d rather think like this. Your son’s sexuality is not something you can change, and what’s more, your son’s life is something completely seperate from yours. So it has nothing to do with your friends. Some of them might accept it, and some might not or maybe leave you. However, that is that, and I would take my son’s happiness first.

    >I think some Japanese parents learn to accept that their sons or daughters are gays if they are really succeed like Ikko, はるな愛 or マツコ.

    I don’t really think so. They’re just well-known people.



  15. YU on Wednesday May 1st, 2013 at 10:15 AM

    Hi Fumie and everyone,

    First of all, I guess you actually meant the opposite this part ;

    > 同性婚では子供を作る機能が生まれながらにありますが、異性婚にそれはないから、論理的に異性婚は良くない気がするんです。

    “異性婚”では子供を作る機能が生まれながらにありますが、”同性婚”にそれはないから、論理的に”同性婚”は良くない気がするんです。

    Am I right?

    I guess what Anne wanted to say was that “Having children” is just “ONE” of the purposes, and that’s not everything in marriage.”
    I agree with her.

    As Anne mentioned, there are a number of heterosexual couples who can’t have children or who don’t want to have them in this world, but I don’t think that’s neither bad or shameful.

    Moreover, some older people get married after 60 or 70 just to spend the rest of their life together. Of course, I think they have no intention to have a baby. Actually, it might be more accurate to say that women after 60 usually don’t have a period, so they can’t have a baby any more.

    To me, “異性婚では子供を作る機能が生まれながらにありますが、同性婚にそれはないから、論理的に同性婚は良くない気がするんです。” sounds sterile hetrosexual couples(including older people) have no right to marry.

    So, as Anne said, I think whether you have a baby or not is just one of the options of all others in marriage, and it is a bit nonsense to talk about the right to marry based on whether you can have a baby or not.
    女性に生まれても子供を作る機能に障害があったり病気で子宮を失う人もあるし。



  16. YU on Wednesday May 1st, 2013 at 10:18 AM

    Hi Biwa,

    > I’d rather think like this. Your son’s sexuality is not something you can change, and what’s more, your son’s life is something completely seperate from yours. So it has nothing to do with your friends. Some of them might accept it, and some might not or maybe leave you. However, that is that, and I would take my son’s happiness first

    First of all, I’m not critisizing you at all. I’m sorry, if it sounded so.

    I know exactly what you mean, but in reality, not many Japanese parents are as strong as you or Anne, I think. I’m not that strong either. I’d like take my son’s happines first, too, but I don’t think I can.
    What I wanted say was that I suspect most Japanese parents are the same as me. As David’s friend said, I also think the main reason why gay people in Japan can’t out their sexuality is that they are scared too see the reactions of people around them “including their parents”. I think “most” Japanese people still have strong prejudice against gay people or they can accept gay couples only if they are not their family members.

    >I think some Japanese parents learn to accept that their sons or daughters are gays if they are really succeed like Ikko, はるな愛 or マツコ.

    > I don’t really think so. They’re just well-known people.

    I’m not really sure about マツコ, but I’m afraid as for Ikko and はるな愛, that is the fact. I saw their parents confessing so(「成功して初めて彼らの”オネエ”を認めた」) in a TV program before.



  17. Anne on Wednesday May 1st, 2013 at 02:39 PM

    Hi Fumie, YU and everyone,

    >that’s not everything in marriage.”
    —YU makes the point, and Fumie,I really understand your idea toward marriage and child rearing, but I’m wondering what is the meaning of marriage. I don’t think gay marriage will harm “family values.”

    > they have a choice to have children in different ways.—I didn’t mention in detail because it was difficult to explain even in Japanese, but anyway, one of the couples can be a biological father. It’s not legalized in Japan,though…

    Hi Yu and Biwa,
    >many Japanese parents are as strong as you or Anne, I think. I’m not that strong either.
    —I don’t think I’m strong, but one thing for sure for me is that ” try not to care about other people’s value toward ME.” Of course, I like my friends compliments, and want to look nice,haha! まあ、開き直りと言うか。。。人生、生きるのが楽になります。



  18. YU on Wednesday May 1st, 2013 at 02:40 PM

    Hi Mika,

    > But, so far, I can’t accept them, sorry.

    I don’t think you need to apologize.

    > Gay marriage is quite a hot topic in both the US and the UK at the moment.
    – They might think that they don’t think there are any borders in marriage, so in the end it’s personality.

    May I ask you what do you mean with this sentence?

    Hi David,

    > As far as I understand (and I hope Kattie will correct me if I’m wrong), “civil partnerships” between gay people are legal in the UK, but gay people cannot actually get married.

    I googled “civil partnerships” in the UK.
    It says that gay couples cannot get married as you say, but if they resister “civil partnership” at the government office, then they will receive “almost” the same treatment as marriage couples as for employment, pension, inheritance, etc… I felt it sounds like “事実婚” in France. I read that Elton John has a civil partener, too.

    If civil partnerships couples can get the same social security benefits as marriage couples,
    what is the purpose of gay people’s marriage?
    What are the disadvantages being civil partnerships and the advantages being marriage couples except for the difference in their names? As some members say, they cannot adopt children unless they are married? I doubt that it is the only difference.
    Or as I suspected, they just stick to the form of marriage? Or they want society to treat them as perfectly, 100% same as marriage couples including the 結婚という名称?!



  19. Anne on Wednesday May 1st, 2013 at 02:41 PM

    it’s me again.
    >correction;
    “my friends compliments” should be “my friends’ compliments.”



  20. David on Wednesday May 1st, 2013 at 02:47 PM


  21. taco on Wednesday May 1st, 2013 at 03:47 PM

    Hello David and everyone,
    Actually I am in favor of legalizing gay marriage for the very simple reason. If you lived with a same sex partner for 30 years just like a marriage couple and broke up, you might be kicked out of the house with no money. You have no right to claim that your property should be shared, because it is not a divorce but a breakup. The system of marriage gives people the right to protect their property. All people should be protected by law and everyone can have the same right. So I think gay marriage is reasonable and it is different from just celebrating gay couples.

    Hi David,
    The story of the catholic bishop in Scotland is very surprising. It is like a TV show in the U.S. By the way, has the problem of this blog, happens on smartphones, been perfectly sorted out? Since then, I have stopped reading this blog on my smartphone.
    Thank you for an interesting topic. It made me want to write what I think after so long.

    Bye for now,
    taco



  22. David on Wednesday May 1st, 2013 at 04:29 PM

    Hi Taco,

    I’m afraid that to many people, the story of the Catholic bishop in Scotland was not surprising at all. That is pretty much the kind of thing we have come to expect from the Catholic church. Actually, this was far less serious than the sexual abuse of children that was covered up by church leaders for years. Every time they found out about a pedophile priest, they just moved him to a new place to avoid a scandal. Of course, this meant that hundreds more children were abused.

    The problem with the blog on smartphones has been resolved, so please feel free to read and comment from there.



  23. YU on Wednesday May 1st, 2013 at 04:48 PM

    【correction】

    >I felt it sounds like “事実婚” in France.

    It reminded me of “事実婚” in France.

    > I read that Elton John has a civil partener, too.

    ….civil partner

    Hi Taco,

    > You have no right to claim that your property should be shared, because it is not a divorce but a breakup. The system of marriage gives people the right to protect their property. All people should be protected by law and everyone can have the same right. So I think gay marriage is reasonable and it is different from just celebrating gay couples.

    As I wrote, it seems that civil partner couples can receive almost the same social security benefits including 財産分与 as married couples in the UK. So, I don’t think “marriage” is absolutely necessary for gay couples if they just want to secure their property for the case of they break up.

    By the way, apparently, when a married couple legally separate, we call it “divorce”, but it is called “dissolution” when civil partners legally finish their civil partnerships.



  24. YU on Wednesday May 1st, 2013 at 08:16 PM

    Hi David and everyone,

    > I am more in favour of not discriminating against one particular group of society.
    > I believe that your sexuality is something that you are born with

    Do you think “pedophilia”(ロリコン) is one of the sexualities?
    If so, why do they have to be discriminated?
    Maybe because children are targeted as their sex objects and it is ethically wrong?

    I’m telling you this just in case, but it doesn’t mean that I side with them.



  25. Biwa on Wednesday May 1st, 2013 at 10:50 PM

    Hi YU,

    I don’t feel criticized at all. Actually, I enjoy reading your comments. (^O^)b
    I agree when Anne says “I try not to care about other people’s value toward ME”.

    >If civil partnerships couples can get the same social security benefits as marriage couples,
    what is the purpose of gay people’s marriage?

    I tend to think completely the other way round. If they’re going to guarantee those benefits to gay couples, why do they have to use a different word “civil partnership” instead of “marriage”? And then again, it’s because of those strong opponents such as the Church or people with other beliefs. Considering all those dirty scandals, for many people, what the Church says completely lacks persuasiveness.

    Hi David,

    Those kind of scandals were written in Japanese newspapers, too, especially when the new Pope was elected this year.
    As you said, historically(I hope!), there are countless stories of pedophile priests and abused 稚児 in Japan, too. Also, those inexcusable incidents tend to happen when there is someone powerful and others powerless in a very closed world, so I guess it’s likely to happen anytime and anywhere.

    By the way, thank you for the NBA article. I really really hope we can see him playing next season. I like what his teammate said: “He’s still the same guy. He’s just let us know more about him.”

    Can I ask a question? Is “carry the flag for” the same meaning as “carry the banner for”?
    The original sentence was “Collins was the perfect individual to carry the flag for other players.”



  26. Fumie on Thursday May 2nd, 2013 at 12:58 AM

    Hi amo and YU,

    Thank you for pointing out my mistake. I used the words 異性婚 and 同性婚 other way round.

    Hi David, YU and Anne,

    I admit that my idea of “異性婚では子供を作る機能が生まれながらにありますが、同性婚にそれはないから、論理的に同性婚は良くない気がするんです。”doesn’t make sense according to YU’s theory. But still, I’m not support gay marriages. Or, I don’t want to lose this battle(debate). So I tried to think of other reason why gay marriage should not be approved. I looked up the definition of marriage both in Japanese and English.
    (結婚)男女が夫婦となること。
    (marriage) the formal union of a man and a woman, typically as recognized by law, by which they become husband and wife.
    I also looked up the definition of husband and wife.
    (夫)妻を持つ男。婚姻関係における男子。
    (妻)配偶者の1方である異性。
       現在では、夫婦の1方としての女。
    (husband) a married man considered in relation to his wife.
    (wife) a married woman considered in relation to her husband.
    I also looked up man and woman.
    (男) 人間の性別の1つで、女でない方。
    (女) 人間の性別の1つで、子を産み得る器官をそなえている方。(man) adult human male.
    (woman) an adult human female.
    So according to dictionaries both in Japanese and English, marriage means the relationship between man and woman. And the definition of women is people who can bear offspring or produce eggs, not transgender people.
    Is my reasoning still weak?



  27. Anne on Thursday May 2nd, 2013 at 07:36 AM

    Hi Fumie and everyone,

    Firstly, I’d like to make it clear the following point; this is not about the right or wrong thing but about each person’s thought (or idea) toward (gay) marriage.

    Yes, what you pointed out is the traditional and basic definition of marriage, and I agree with you about that point, but I guess it’s time to expand its definition.

    I found an interesting article concerning the definition of marriage and dictionaries:

    http://www.bostonglobe.com/ideas/2012/06/09/the-fight-over-defining-marriage-literally/5G2G0tCt6VFd0VQ1Y3vrFN/story.html

    I agree with the last line in the article,”as society changes, so do our dictionaries -like it or not.

    I’m going out now. I just have a look at the article and don’t have time to say something more, so I’d like to talk about this issue after returning home, maybe tonight.

    See you,



  28. Biwa on Thursday May 2nd, 2013 at 09:14 AM

    Hi Anne,

    >I agree with the last line in the article,”as society changes, so do our dictionaries -like it or not.

    Thanks for the link. I agree, too.
    By the way, I looked up “marriage” in my dictionary.(Longman) It says “a realtionship between two people who are married, or the state of being married.” Also, the verb “marry” was defined as “1)If you marry someone, you become their husband or wife 2)to officially make two people wife and husband”. There were no “man” nor “woman” in the definitions. Quite interesting.



  29. YU on Thursday May 2nd, 2013 at 11:35 AM

    Hi Anne,

    Thank you for the interesting article!

    Hi Fumie, and everyone,

    > But still, I’m not support gay marriages. Or, I don’t want to lose this battle(debate). So I tried to think of other reason why gay marriage should not be approved.

    Please don’t take me wrong, but I couldn’t help grinning at what you wrote above because people usually have opinions and there are some reasons behind them, but in your case, it sounds like you have a strong opinion anyway, but you don’t understand why you think so very well yourself, so you tried to find the reasons 後付けで. But I don’t think actually you meant like that! Anyway, I like your guts!! 🙂

    誤解しないで欲しいんですけど、Fumieのコメントのこの部分を読んで思わず面白くってニヤッと笑ってしまいました。だって普通はみんな意見があってそれには何かしら理由があるでしょ?でもFumieの文章を読んでとにかくgay marriageには絶対反対で後から理由を探してるような印象を受けたんです(あくまでも英文の印象ですよ)。本当はそうじゃないと思うけど!とにかくFumieのガッツ、好きです!

    I’m not 100% in favor of regalizing gay marriage, either.

    I totally agree with that gay people should have exactly the same rights with heterosexual people including “marrying” because they are the same humans no matter what their sexuality is, but to be honest, I’m a bit resistant to “share” the term of “marriage” in legal definitions with them. Of course, it’s not from religious reasons. I’m not sure myself, but I guess it’s because I still think that men are biologically different from women although we are the same humans.
    I mean, I understand what gay people and their supporters say, but on the other hand, I don’t really understand why we need to call both same-sex marriage and opposite-sex marriage by one term : “marriage” in the first place.
    This is not discrimination, but it’s just the fact that gay marriage = man and man/woman and woman, and “traditional” marriage = man and woman. In my opinion, mixing up these two marriages is a little farfetched, because to me, it sounds like men and women are the same before arguing the matter of your sexuality. I don’t think you should ignore the ideas of heterosexual people, either(even small resistance like mine), if you say we should listen to gay people.
    (個人的にはこの2つ種類の結婚を一緒くたに考えるのはちょっと無理があると思う。なぜならそうするとgayかheteroかという人間のsexualityの議論以前に、そもそも男も女も同じ、という前提になってしまうように私には思えるから。gayの人達の主張があるように、私のような考えのheteroのかすかな抵抗も認められてもいいんじゃないかしら?これは差別とは違う感情です。)

    So, 落としどころとしては, how about creating new names for both marriages? I know it’s a very unrealistic suggestion and I’ll meet counterattack from the Church!



  30. YU on Thursday May 2nd, 2013 at 11:41 AM

    【correction】

    > I’m not 100% in favor of regalizing gay marriage, either.

    …legalizing….



  31. Fumie on Thursday May 2nd, 2013 at 11:31 PM

    Hi Anne and Biwa,

    Thank you for the link. I also agree with the article. The definitions of the words should be revised over time and as society changes. It’s so compelling. My assertion isn’t plausible enough.
    参りました (笑)
    But I want to make it clear that I’m not against relationship among gay couples, as I said in my first comment.
    I concluded that whether marry or not is all up to consenting adults.
    Although, I lost in this battle, it was a good excercise for my dull brain. I want to polish debating skills.
    時代の流れとともに言葉の定義が変えるべきという意見に賛成です。私の主張は妥当ではなかったです。
    はっきりさせておきたいのは、最初にも言いましたが私は同性愛には初めから賛成です。
    私の結論は結婚するかどうかは法的に成人である個人(同棲どうしも含めて)の自由だということです。
    ディベートには負けてしまいましたが、普段使わない鈍った脳を使ったので頭の体操になりました!もっと技を磨きたいです。

    Hi YU,

    Oh, you completely read my mind! At first, I was not support same sex marriage because they don’t have the ability to bear children. But Anne, David and Biwa opposed to my idea with convincing reasons. I thought I was going to lose but I didn’t want to. So I tried to find the way to compete with them. So I came up with the idea of using definition of words in dictionaries. Unfortunately, I already admitted my defeat. あ、これでは負けてしまうと苦し紛れに何か納得させれる理由がないかと考え付いたのが、辞書の言葉の定義づけでしたが、けど皆さんがずっと上手でした!Although I can’t deny I’m still resistant to gay marriage. Your idea of adopting different terms is interesting.
    I wondered if there were gays in the past and also are there homosexual animals so I googled.
    There have been gays in every age and homosexual animals are quite common.



  32. Anne on Friday May 3rd, 2013 at 12:16 AM

    Hi Fumie and everyone,

    >これでは負けてしまうと苦し紛れに何か納得させれる理由がないかと考え付いたのが、辞書の言葉の定義づけでしたが、

    >Oh, you completely read my mind!

    Actually, I felt the same way as YU:) That’s why I said,”this is not about the right or wrong thing but about each person’s thought (or idea) toward (gay) marriage.” Speaking of debate, it’s not my forte to think about things logically.



  33. YU on Friday May 3rd, 2013 at 07:07 AM

    【correction】

    > I totally agree with that gay people should have exactly the same rights with heterosexual people including “marrying”

    ….the same rights AS heterosexual….

    Hi Fumie,

    > ディベートには負けてしまいましたが

    Did you!?
    In my case, I still believe that I have a chance to win this debate!! hahaha…. 🙂

    Hi Anne and everyone,

    I was surprised to know that definitions in dictionaries were sometimes used in court, although I had already known that meanings of words in dictionaries are added concerning with people’s actual usage.

    As you can see in the article, American people have been very aware of the issue of “LBGT” since long, I think that’s why they have reached to the stage of discussing definitions of “marriage” today. On the contrary, in Japan, there are still many people who can’t accept even the existence of gay people itself.
    In my opinion, it’s a bit too hasty to have those Japanese people think about “gay marriage” at the present stage. It would be sensible to follow the steps like 1. encourage them to be aware of the issue of “LBGT”. 2. have them accept the existence 3. accept them 4. consider adopting the system like “civil partnerships” in the UK 5. consider “gay marriage”.
    I know it’s hard for “LGBT” people to wait for the steps, but you can’t change people’s ideas or beliefs so easily, I think.

    I’m going to watch the baseball game in Tokyo Dome tomorrow. I really really wanted to watch Matsui’s retirement ceremony and Mr.Nagashima’s speech before the game on May.5th, but I couldn’t get the tickets…立ち見しか残ってなくて子供が小さいから諦めました。。。
    Apparently, Mr. Abe is throwing out the first ball and the manager Hara is catching it in the same game because Mr. Abe is coming to Tokyo Dome to award 国民栄誉賞 to them on the same day. あ~本当に生で見たかったな~~!!
    I’ll leave home today and stay at my brothers house in Tokyo tonight. I’ll return the day after tomorrow. 多分。。。

    Have a nice holiday, all!!



  34. Fumie on Friday May 3rd, 2013 at 07:11 AM

    Hi Anne,

    I also think this matter is not the right or wrong thing but how people think about this matter. 🙂
    I almost forgot to tell this.
    Have a lovely holiday, everyone! 🙂



  35. Anne on Friday May 3rd, 2013 at 07:36 AM

    Hi YU and everyone,

    >it’s a bit too hasty to have those Japanese people think about “gay marriage” at the present stage—I think so,too. Even in the US, there are lots of ideas toward this issue; some states admit gay marriage and some don’t. I think the article that David introduced us shows how difficult to accept the value of “being different.” Also, I think in Japan, having a chance to talk about these issues is the start.

    >立ち見しか残ってなくて子供が小さいから諦めました。。。

    Oh, that’s too bad, but anyway, enjoy the game at the dome^^)



  36. Kattie on Friday May 3rd, 2013 at 07:38 AM

    Hello everyone,

    This is an interesting debate and I’m sorry I’ve come to it so late, I’ve been very busy this week at work and also painting my Dad’s new house.

    I am absolutely in favour of gay marriage because all people should be treated equally by the state. What two consenting adults decide to do is entirely up to them and, if it doesn’t impinge on anyone else, why should anyone else care.

    I don’t think any of my friends are against gay marriage but I don’t mix in religious circles so maybe this is why. I can understand why gay couples might want to get married in the eyes of the state but I don’t really understand why they would want to get married in church. Organised religion in the UK has many strange, anachronistic ideas and this type of debate simply exposes them, this is why Tom and I did not get married in church. I think the press make a big deal about these issues because it’s an interesting read but I wonder how many people in the UK (who are not religious)really feel that strongly against it.

    In the UK, being gay is quite common especially in urban areas and today I don’t think gay people are discriminated against in the same way as they were in the past. Gay couples often have a large amount of disposable income because they usually don’t have families to support, they are quite well represented in nearly all parts of public life and politicians of all parties know that they are an important part of the electorate, so they are not downtrodden like many other minorities.

    As far as sexuality is concerned, I think most people are actually neither gay nor straight but, depending on the circumstances, could go either way. In single sex environments, relationships with someone of the same sex have always been quite common e.g. the army, single sex boarding schools, prisons etc, I think this is because people are sexual and social beings. These days, sleeping with someone of the same sex is not such a big deal and is actually quite cool. I think this is part of the reason why many people, especially young people, have gay relationships. I’m not sure whether they will only have gay relationships in their lifetime but it’s interesting and exciting to experiment. On a light note, my daughter recently said that nearly half the boys on her corridor in her first year at university said they were either gay or bisexual, both the boys that she shares a house with are gay and of the two boys in her lecture group, one is gay and one is straight, so it’s actually quite hard for her to find a straight boy! She mentioned this problem to a gay friend and the friend replied ‘You know what the answer is – go gay’! Of course, there are also lots of gay women in the UK but, for some reason which I can’t really understand, I don’t think this is seen as quite so cool or acceptable.



  37. YU on Friday May 3rd, 2013 at 08:35 AM

    Hi Kattie and everyone,

    > As far as sexuality is concerned, I think most people are actually neither gay nor straight but, depending on the circumstances, could go either way.

    I read an article(in Japanese!) saying exactly the same last night. It says that most people are natuarally bisexual, but your natural sexuality is often rectified by your circumstances such as culture, religions and so on.

    > Of course, there are also lots of gay women in the UK but, for some reason which I can’t really understand, I don’t think this is seen as quite so cool or acceptable.

    I also read in the same article that women tend to learn to believe that their one of the duties as a woman is to carry a baby because the society expect so. That’s why lesbian couples aren’t seen as cool or acceptable as gay(men) couples in the society.
    I’m not sure if it(the article) tells the truth or not, though!



  38. amo on Friday May 3rd, 2013 at 04:41 PM

    Hi David,

    >If I ever mention to a Japanese person that a friend or colleague is gay, they always say, “So he is a foreigner, of course?” I have even had Japanese people tell me that “There are no gay people in Japan,” ….

    You must be kidding, because I can’t believe that there are some people who think something like that!! I have never met those people in my life. As others said, if you turn on the TV, you can see a lot of gay people on it. Also, I thought it is common knowledge that same sex love exist in ancient Japan.
    I am also in favour of legalising gay marriage:) I can’t find any good reasons to against it.

    Hi Kattie,

    >because all people should be treated equally by the state. What two consenting adults decide to do is entirely up to them and, if it doesn’t impinge on anyone else, why should anyone else care.

    it seems that you took the words out of my mouth 🙂 To tell the truth, I didn’t know how to explain my thoughts in English, so I was really happy to find your comment. Thank you.

    If I had a child, I would support him/her 100%. I have two nephews and five nieces, and I really don’t care if one/some of them is/are gay.

    In my 20’s, my ex-coworker used to take me to Gay bars. He is straight but has a lot of gay friends. Once, we went to a gay party, held on 4th of April. As you might have guessed, 3rd of March is Doll’s festival(girls day,) 5th of May is Children’s day(boys day) so 4th of April is gays day. There were a lot of gay people there, so I thought that they were becoming accepted in Japanese society.

    I’m dine out with some friends, so I’ve got to go,
    bye for now

    amo



  39. Fumie on Friday May 3rd, 2013 at 05:01 PM

    Hi YU,

    >In my case, I still believe that I have a chance to win this debate!! hahaha….
    So far, only you and me are con toward gay marriage other members are pro. So 頑張りましょう!
    Have fun at Tokyo Dome tomorrow.

    Hi Kattie,

    > ~so it’s actually quite hard for her to find a straight boy!
    Does your daughter goes to university in urban area? I was surprised to know that there are so many gay men in the UK. Maybe there are also many gay men in Japan but peoples’ awareness toward gay is still low and, unfortunatelly, they are not accepted so much in here yet. So most of gay people have to hide their sexualities.



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