A group of disabled people and disease patients protested Tuesday over a recent article by a Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker who said gay and lesbian couples are unproductive because they cannot have children.

Speaking in a press conference at the health and welfare ministry, they said such views deeply hurt the feelings not only of sexual minorities but also of people who cannot have children due to illness or disability.

"I cannot have children because of the effects of medication, but I don't believe that human value is decided by the fact of whether one can have children or not," said Hiroko Uchiyama, 43, of Hachioji in western Tokyo who suffers from the complications of an illness.

In the magazine article, Mio Sugita, a House of Representatives member of the ruling party, wrote, "Can spending taxpayers' money on LGBT couples gain approval? They don't make children. In other words, they lack 'productivity.'"

(Mio Sugita)

Shoji Nakanishi, 74, also from Hachioji, whose limbs are paralyzed due to a cervical spine injury, said Sugita's view was akin to that of the man indicted for killing 19 mentally disabled people at a care home near Tokyo in 2016. The man had said disabled people "should be eradicated from society."

Nakanishi said he is concerned about "a growing trend to eliminate heterogeneity from society."

Related coverage:

Japan ruling party objects to lawmaker calling LGBT unproductive

Japan's ruling party lawmaker says LGBT couples lack "productivity"

The LDP posted a message on its website last week stating that Sugita's views did not conform with the party's official stance on issues related to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

However, LDP No. 2, Secretary General Toshihiro Nikai, said in late July in reference to Sugita's article that the LDP "is a gathering of wide-ranging people from right to left. Each (LDP politician) has his or her own political position and life philosophy."

Nakanishi denounced Nikai's remarks, saying he "tolerates and facilitates eugenics ideas."