Alexander Dmitrenko discusses the LGBT+ equality movement in Japan
At the 2018 LGBT+ Asia Senior Leader Summit in Hong Kong

More than 300 LGBT+ business leaders gathered in November 2018 in Hong Kong for Out Leadership’s 6th annual Asia LGBT+ Senior Leader Summit, sponsored by EY, KPMG, HSBC, and Thomson Reuters.

KPMG hosted Charting the Path Forward in Hong Kong and Beyond, the second session.

Alexander Dmitrenko, Senior Associate, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Tokyo, and Co-Representative Director & Co-Founder, Lawyers for LGBT & Allies Network, Tokyo shared his insight on Japan’s fight for LGBT+ equality:

“When you see the history of marriage in Canada, the US, and Europe, it’s really the struggle for recognition, struggle for dignity—the struggle for true equality.

Ultimate equality comes in the recognition of legal marriage. So we wanted to focus as a final goal in Japan to really try to push the envelope as far as we can towards that end. In Japan, there’s no currently any LGBT type of legislation or protections whatsoever. Actually, Japan’s quite behind in terms of Hong Kong and many other Asian countries. You can be fined for being gay, you can be sent out of the country for being gay.”

He continued, reflecting on the momentum created by wider global progress:

“Twenty-six countries in the world where equal marriage exists and the world hasn’t collapsed. People thought it would, it did not collapse.”

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