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Petition demands Japanese lawmaker apologize for LGBT remark

TOKYO — Japanese activists including seven parents of LGBT children have submitted a petition with more than 25,000 signatures to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s party, demanding that a lawmaker apologize for saying that sexual minorities are unproductive and don’t deserve public support.

A lawmaker belonging to Abe’s ruling party, Mio Sugita, said in a right-wing magazine in July that the government shouldn’t use tax money for LGBT rights because same-sex couples don’t produce children and have “no productivity.” The comment triggered outrage from sexual minorities as well as others, including the elderly and disabled.

Abe’s party was slow to respond, criticizing her only after tens of thousands of people staged angry protests outside the party headquarters.

The activists submitted 26,650 signatures to the party on Friday demanding that Sugita apologize.