The district court of Osaka, Japan has ruled that banning marriage between people of the same gender is constitutional. This news comes one week after an improvement of Tokyo LGBTQ partnership rights.
In its ruling, the court explains that “the reality is that the human bond between one man and one woman forms the core of the family, the natural and fundamental group unit that constitutes and supports our society”.
Three same-sex couples had sued the court saying its ban in Japan is unconstitutional. The court rejects the claim, along with their request for 1 million yen in damages. Although Japan is a liberal country by Asian standards, only Taiwan has legalised same-sex marriage. Japan is the only one in the Group of Seven nations that doesn’t allow same-sex marriage. The court declares that “Marriage is between a man and a woman”.
LBGTQ activists in Japan are dealing with this substantial blow. “This is awful, just awful” an unidentified woman says outside the Osaka courthouse.
Under the current rules, same-sex couples cannot legally marry, cannot inherit their partner’s assets and have no parental rights over their partner’s children. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida says the issue needs to be more “carefully considered”.
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