March 19, 2021


Even though the Japanese court supports same sex marriage the Japanese government did not support it and it still does not, but a monumental step was taken for the unions in the country. On Wednesday, a Japanese court ruled that failure to observe same-sex marriages was unconstitutional.

A Landmark Decision for Same-Sex Marriage

The Japanese court ruled that preventing same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, it does not matter until the government legalizes the unions. It’s unlikely that this move will happen immediately in the government because Japan is still behind other developed countries regarding same-sex marriage.

However, this decision was received positively by gay citizens in Japan because it was a step in the right direction for equality. The ruling occurred in a district court in a northern Japanese city called Sapporo.

It was a civil suit against the Japanese government filed by three gay couples in the nation. The couples claimed that the Japanese government’s lack of recognition has not allowed them to receive the benefits that married people are given in the country. The couples utilized Japan’s constitutional guarantee of equality.

The three couples were not paid for the civil court’s lack of recognition, despite the court’s ruling. They wanted $9,000 each, totaling $54,000 in damages. Even though no funds were allotted, this case put the subject of same sex marriage at the forefront of Japan.

The court cited the portion of the constitution that dealt with equality. The opinion stated that Japan could not prevent gay marriage because it does not have a rational basis to do so based on its constitution.

The court did not award the money because they stated that same sex marriage has only recently been discussed in the country. Therefore, the nation could not be liable for damages since they have not had time to amend the constitution.

The Public Opinion

Alexander Dmitrenko, a lawyer and Tokyo resident who deals with marriage equality cases, claimed that this decision was still remarkable and historical even though the citizens were not granted any money.

Dmitrenko said, “In the eyes of the Japanese public, this decision should underscore that gay and lesbian couples are not treated equally in Japan.” This is necessary for equality because the Japanese Parliament does not have to legalize gay marriage. This decision does not allow for same-sex marriage until the Parliament enacts a law.

Lawmakers have been given opportunities to legalize same-sex marriage in the past, but they have not taken any action. It’s still believed that it will take some lobbying for lawmakers to consider passing a same-sex marriage bill.

Gay unions are not explicitly banned, but the national government does not recognize them. Gay couples do not receive any of the things that heterosexual partners receive in the nation. The national government claims that the constitution states that marriage should only be between a man and woman.

This is because of a provision that was established in Japan to limit arranged marriages throughout the nation. Gay people are hesitant to come out in Japan because it’s one of seven major countries in the world that have not legalized same-sex marriage.

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