Lesbian Japanese politician gets married

By |2007-06-21T09:00:00-04:00June 21st, 2007|Uncategorized|

Openly lesbian Japanese politician Kanako Otsuji, 32, and her girlfriend, Maki Kimura, 32, got married June 3 in Tokyo.
They wore white dresses and carried roses in the ceremony that was not recognized legally.
A former member of the Osaka Prefectural Assembly, Otsuji is a proportional-representation candidate for the National Diet’s House of Councilors, the upper house of parliament. Under the proportional-representation system, the percentage of votes cast for the Democratic Party and Otsuji’s spot on the party’s list of candidates will determine if she wins election July 22. She would become Japan’s first-ever openly gay MP.
“Ten years ago, it would have been impossible for me to stand as the official candidate of a major party,” she told The Scotsman newspaper. “I want to give all kinds of minorities in Japan a voice to express themselves in the political world … single mothers, the victims of domestic violence, common-law couples who do not have the same rights as married people — not just gays and lesbians.”
Otsuji came out publicly at Tokyo’s 2005 gay pride parade.
“Homosexual people have often kept silent for fear of discrimination and prejudice,” she said at the time. “By declaring I’m homosexual, I would like to highlight the problems and put an end to a vicious circle of discrimination and prejudice.”
She later published an autobiography called “Coming Out: A Journey for Finding Your True Self.”

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