Rights group urges Japan to update law on changing gender

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TOKYO (AP) — An rights group is urging Japan to change a law that it says puts “abusive and outdated” burdens on transgender people seeking to have their gender change legally recognized, including sterilization surgery and a psychiatric diagnosis. The report by New York-based Human Rights Watch said such requirements are inhumane, unnecessary and discriminatory. The report comes as activists in Japan push for the passage of an equality act, which would remove such barriers as well as legalize same-sex marriage. The legislation faces resistance from conservative members of the ruling party. The Japanese public has slowly shown increased support and awareness of sexual diversity, but there are still a lack of legal protections for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

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