Japanese civil service employees warned not to harass gay colleagues

Gay rights in Japan are far behind those of many Western countries but a new policy implemented in the nation’s civil service shows some progress.

Employees of the National Personnel Authority (NPA) were instructed earlier this year to be aware of their behaviour towards LGBT colleagues.

The new policy highlights that discriminatory speech against gay and lesbian colleagues would be grounds for sexual harassment.

Suggesting that “homosexuals are sickening” or calling someone a “man-woman” are some of the examples put forward of what might constitute harassment.

“We’ve long understood these behaviors to be examples of sexual harassment, but as issues surrounding sexual minorities have become more prevalent in our society in recent years, we decided to make the rules clearer,” a spokesperson for NPA told The Mainichi.

The policy will apply to 280,000 public servants. The Japan Alliance for LGBT Legislation (J-ALL) has appealed to local government organisations and private companies to bring in similar guidelines.

Homosexuality is not illegal in the conservative nation but laws regarding age of consent and protections in the employment field are inconsistent in different areas of the country.

OIP Staff



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