Demands for politician to resign after calling gay people ‘abnormal animals’

The politician claims that he was drunk when he tweeted the comment, vowing to ‘atone vigorously.’

Members of a local government in Japan are demanding one of its assemblymen hand in his resignation for calling gay people “abnormal animals.”

Masumi Tsurusashi was accused of “damaging the dignity of the assembly with his discriminatory remarks” following the tweets.

Last weekend, he took to social media to criticise the LGBT community, saying that the press should ignore issues facing LGBT people, before calling them “abnormal animals.”

The tweets were swiftly deleted after they received a barrage of criticism online.

Tsurusashi later told reporters he was drunk and angry about a survey that found over half of people in Japan supported marriage equality.

He then apologised and offered to give up one month’s wage, but he refused to resign.

Penning a letter of apology to his colleagues, Tsurusashi promised to “atone by vigorously” and gain a “deepening understanding of LGBT issues.”

Fifty-one percent of people polled by researchers from universities and the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research back marriage equality, according to the recent survey.

Support for same-sex marriage was much higher in younger age groups, with over 70 per cent 20-40 year olds backing the move.

Despite this, the survey also found 72 percent of respondents said they’d feel “reluctant to accept the fact their child is gay.”

Last month, three wards in Tokyo announced plans to start issuing certificates recognising same-sex couples, in spite of a constitutional ban.

The certificates will allow same sex couples access to family housing in ward run residential property, allow family only hospital visits for partners and other legal rights that have previously been denied to same sex couples in the country.

However, they will not be recognised outside the wards, as the Japanese constitution still states that “marriage shall be based only on the mutual consent of both sexes.”

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has previously voiced his unwillingness to allow same sex marriagesin the country because it would be ‘difficult’ under the constitution as it stands.

Things may be set to improve, though, as policy makers in the country announced that they willbe examining LGBT discrimination in Japan in the run up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games.