Mio Sugita is a lower house MP in Japan | Photo: Twitter
25,000 people in Japan have signed an online petition against an MP over her anti-LGBTI sentiments.
The petition has demanded an apology from Mio Sugita, who caused a public outcry after describing LGBTI people as ‘unproductive’ because they could not bare children in a magazine article last month, The Mainichi reported.
In the same article she also said that LGBTI people should not be able to claim welfare.
Sugita is a member of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), who have distanced themselves from the lawmaker’s opinions.
This week saw disabled people taking to the streets of Tokyo to protest the comments made by the MP. The group too offence at the lawmaker describing those who could not have children as ‘lacking productivity’.
‘I cannot have children because of the effects of medication. But I don’t believe that human value is decided by the fact of whether one can have children or not,’ one of the disabled protesters, Hiroko Uchiyama, told Kyodo News.
Sugita has come under continued fire for several weeks over her magazine article.
Last month, over 5,000 people protested outside the LDP headquarters in Tokyo, demanding the resignation of the lower house MP.
The LDP released a statement saying that Sugita’s comments ‘show her lack of understanding of (LGBT) issues and consideration for the feelings of people involved.’
Sugita has often courted controversy when discussing LGBTI rights.
In a talk show interview in 2015 she said same-sex marriage legalisation could lead to legalisation of incest or bestiality.
‘If we recognize different sexual orientations, that will lead to calls to allow marriage between siblings, marriage between parents and children, or even marriage to pets or machines,’ she said.
Sugita doubled down when questioned about her recent comments in an interview last month. She also said that preventing suicides of LGBTI people was a ‘low priority’.