Friday, June 24, 2022
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JAPAN: Same-sex Marriage Ban Constitutional

An Osaka court has denied claims to recognize same-sex marriages. Japan is the only G7 country that does not recognize same-sex unions, but recognizing same-sex partnerships puts it among Asia’s more liberal states.

A Japanese court declared on Monday that a ban on same-sex marriage does not violate the country’s constitution.

The Osaka District Court made the declaration as it rejected a case brought by three same-sex couples who had argued their right to free union and equality has been violated.

The court denied their claim for compensation and defined marriage as a union between opposite genders — upholding a stipulation in Japan’s constitution.

However, the court did state there could be benefits in some sort of framework that recognizes same-sex marriage.

“From the perspective of individual dignity, it can be said that it is necessary to realize the benefits of same-sex couples being publicly recognized through official recognition,” the Osaka court said in its union.

The ruling came as a disappointment for activists who have made ground toward wider recognition of same-sex unions in Japan. Pressure from civil society won out in 2021, when a court in the city of Sapporo ruled that restrictions placed on same-sex marriages were unconstitutional.

 

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