Osaka stops putting rainbow marks on public toilets after complaints from LGBT communities
soranews24.com -- Apr 22
Osaka has been considered something of a pioneer in LGBT rights in Japan. Back in 2013, Yodogawa Ward was the first government body in the country to officially declare support for LGBT communities. While merely a symbolic gesture at first, it has spread into a larger movement of sensitivity that now includes all wards in Osaka.

Sweeping regulations have been made in efforts to accommodate all lifestyles in municipal affairs such as filling out applications that require gender and training staff to be open to a wider range of needs from all citizens.

Among all these changes, the city had decided to affix a rainbow flag marker and message that LGBT people were welcome to use their Kamutoteki Toilets or “multipurpose restrooms.” These are single-person restrooms designed to accommodate men, women, people with babies, people in wheelchairs… pretty much anyone who would need to use a toilet or change a diaper.

Wikipedia

By the beginning of this year, these rainbow signs could be seen on about 240 restrooms in public spaces around Osaka. However on 20 April, Osaka announced that the signs would no longer be used after they had received complaints from LGBT groups.

At first I thought I could see why: although their hearts seemed to be in the right place, there was something weird and tone-deaf about declaring a toilet available to a group of people it had already been available to. It would be like McDonald’s starting a campaign with the slogan: “LGBT can eat our Big Macs!”

But it turned out I was wrong. According to city officials, LGBT groups complained that by placing the rainbow marks on certain toilets, members of those communities would feel as if they were being identified as such by their choice of restrooms.

News source: soranews24.com
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