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As LGBT+ communities in Asia prepare to celebrate Pride Month in June, the picture of gains and regression in their battle for recognition and rights is mixed.   © Illustration by Hiroko Oshima
Asia Insight

LGBT+ rights in Asia: Small steps forward and big steps back

Biggest setback in Afghanistan, while Japan inches toward marriage equality

RHYANNON BARTLETT-IMADEGAWA and RURIKA IMAHASHI, Nikkei staff writers | Afghanistan

LONDON/TOKYO -- In the years before the Taliban regained control of Afghanistan in August, Amir struggled to keep his sexuality hidden from his very conservative Muslim family -- but at least he didn't fear for his life.

"I had a better life, I had a job, I could wear what I wanted," said Amir (not his real name), who's gay and in his 20s. After the Taliban took power in Kabul, he got scared, as people suspected of being LGBT+ were detained and faced possible execution.

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