A politician and ally for the prime minister of Japan called LGBT couples “unproductive” because they can’t have children.
According to Channel NewAsia, Liberal Democratic Party politician Mio Sugita wrote this comment in an article in July, sparking protests in the country.
"Can we obtain approval of spending taxpayers' money for LGBT couples? They don't make children. In other words, they lack productivity," she wrote.
This comment led roughly 5,000 people to protest outside the party’s headquarters in Tokyo last week, with other protests planned as well.
"It is natural to aim at a society where human rights and diversity should be respected," Prime Minister Shinzo Abe commented on Thursday, noting Sugita’s comments did not reflect the party’s beliefs.
The LDP party also released a statement on the comments: "Lawmaker Sugita's article ... includes phrases reflecting her lack of understanding of (LGBT) issues and consideration for the feelings of people involved."
In response, Sugita reportedly stated she would take this statement “seriously” but offered no apology.