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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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