INTERNATIONAL

COURT LEGALISES SAME-SEX MARRIAGE IN JAPAN

A Japanese court has ruled that not allowing same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, a landmark decision that could herald a new era for marriage equality in the country.It’s the first time that a court has ruled on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage in Japan, the only Group of Seven (G7) country that has not recognized either same-sex civil unions or same-sex marriage.The case began in 2019, when three couples in Hokkaido prefecture filed a lawsuit claiming 1 million yen (about $9,160) in damages each for the psychological harm caused by the government not allowing same-sex marriage.Japan does not recognize same-sex unions nationwide, although some parts of the country issue “partnership certificates” that grant some rights benefiting heterosexual couples to same-sex couples.Sapporo District Court in Hokkaido ruled Wednesday the government’s lack of recognition for same-sex marriage was in breach of a section of the constitution that requires equal laws for everyone.

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