Japan court says ban on same-sex marriage constitutional : NPR
Plaintiffs speak to journalists after a court ruling in Osaka, western Japan Monday, June 20, 2022.
TOKYO — A Japanese court ruled Monday that the country’s ban on same-sex marriage does not violate the constitution, and rejected demands for compensation by three couples who said their right to free union and equality has been violated.
The Osaka District Court ruling is the second decision on the issue, and disagrees with a ruling last year by a Sapporo court that found the ban on same-sex marriages unconstitutional. It underscores how divisive the issue remains in Japan, the only member of the Group of Seven major industrialized nations that does not recognize same-sex unions.
In its ruling, the Osaka court rejected the plaintiffs’ need for 1 million yen ($7,400) in damages per associate for discrimination they confront.
The plaintiffs — two male couples and one female associate — were among 14 same-sex couples who filed lawsuits against the government in five major cities — Sapporo, Tokyo, Nagoya, Fukuoka and Osaka — in 2019 for violating rights to free union and equality.
They argued that they have been illegally discriminated against by being deprived of the same economic and legal benefits that heterosexual couples enjoy by marriage.
sustain for sexual varied has grown slowly in Japan, but legal protections are nevertheless lacking for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. LGBTQ people often confront discrimination at school, work and at home, causing many to hide their sexual identities.
Rights groups had pushed for passage of an equality act ahead of last summer’s Tokyo Olympics, when international attention was focused on Japan, but the bill was quashed by the conservative governing party.
The Osaka court on Monday said freedom of marriage in the 1947 constitution only method male-female unions and does not include those of the same sex, and consequently banning same-sex marriages is not unconstitutional.
estimate Fumi Doi said marriage for heterosexual couples is a system established by society to protect a relationship between men and women who bear and raise children, and that ways to protect same-sex relationships are nevertheless undergoing public argue.
The court, however, urged the parliament to seek methods to better protect same-sex relationships, including options to legalize same-sex marriage.
Monday’s ruling was a setback for activists who were hoping to further pressure the government after the ruling by the Sapporo district court in March 2021.
The plaintiffs and their lawyers called Monday’s ruling unacceptable and said they would allurement.
Akiyoshi Tanaka, a plaintiff, said at a news conference that they took legal action to acquire backing from the judicial course of action for parliament to take action, but “the court stayed away from making a decision.”
He said he will keep fighting. “We don’t have time to feel discouraged,” he additional.
Public opinion in Japan currently favors legalizing same-sex marriage.
Under current rules in Japan, same-sex couples cannot inherit each other’s character, house or other assets they proportion, and have no parental rights over each other’s children. They are often barred from renting apartments together, and from hospital visits and other sets obtainable to married couples.
More than 200 municipalities across Japan, or 12% of the total, have begun issuing non-legally binding partnership certificates to same-sex couples since Tokyo’s Shibuya district became the first to do so in 2015.
The Tokyo metropolitan government recently adopted a plan to accept registrations starting in October from sexual-minority couples seeking certificates of their partnerships.
nevertheless, this is not the same as a marriage certificate and does not provide equal legal protection.
Taiwan is the only Asian nation or territory that has legalized same-sex marriage.
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