Tuesday, September 27, 2022
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Blow to gay rights activists as Japanese court declares that the ban on same-sex marriage is not unconstitutional.

In a setback for advocates for gay rights, a Japanese court has declared that a prohibition on same-sex marriage is not unconstitutional.

Three same-sex couples—two male and one female—filed the case in Japan’s Osaka district court. Japan is the only country in the Group of Seven that forbids same-gender unions.

The court dismissed their requests for 1 million yen ($7,414) in damages for each couple in addition to rejecting their argument that being unable to marry was unconstitutional, according to Mail Online.

The plaintiffs’ intentions were not immediately evident, and this was only the second lawsuit on the subject to be heard in Japan.

Following the decision, national broadcaster NHK aired images of an unidentified female complainant saying, “This is bad, really awful,” while sobbing outside the courthouse.

This comes after a Sapporo court ruled in favor of an argument that forbidding same-sex marriage was illegal in March 2021.

In the nation, where public support for same-sex marriage has been growing in opinion polls, the most recent decision sparked a spike in comments on social media.

A lawyer working on the third lawsuit regarding the matter, which is being heard in Tokyo and has a decision due later this year, tweeted, “Unbelievable.”

According to the constitution of Japan, marriage is founded on “the mutual consent of both sexes.”

The hopes of activists and attorneys for the Osaka case, however, were raised by the establishment of partnership rights for same-sex couples in the capital city of Tokyo last week, as well as by rising support in surveys.

The laws in Japan now prohibit same-sex couples from becoming legally married, inheriting their partner’s property, including any joint homes, and having parental responsibility for their partner’s children.

Even though partnership permits granted by some local governments enable same-sex couples to cohabitate and have access to hospitals, they do not grant them the entire range of legal privileges enjoyed by heterosexual couples.

Even though the topic needs to be “seriously considered,” Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has not yet made any preparations to investigate it or put out legislation.

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