Japan's court sustained the ban on same-sex marriage

Japan’s court sustained the ban on same-sex marriage.

The country’s prohibition on same-sex marriage has been maintained by a district court in Japan. The decision is a setback for LGBTQ campaigners in Japan, who scored a minor triumph last year when a court in Sapporo ruled that the government’s refusal to recognize same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.

According to BBC News, three same-sex couples filed a lawsuit in Osaka, arguing that being unable to marry was unconstitutional and seeking 1 million yen (about $7,406) in damages for each pair.

They claimed they were subjected to “unjust discrimination” because of the prevailing legislation forbearing them from marrying.

On the other hand, the Osaka court found the restriction on same-sex marriage to be lawful, citing Japan’s constitution, which defines marriage as including “both sexes.”

Machi Sakata, one of the claimants, told Reuters, “I honestly question whether the judicial system in this nation is truly functioning.”

Sakata was allowed to marry her American-born boyfriend in the United States.

They are expecting their first child. “I believe this judgment has the potential to corner us,” she added.

While the court did not rule out the possibility of same-sex marriage, it did accept that it was a possibility.

According to BBC News, the court concluded in its judgment that “from the standpoint of human dignity, it is vital to realize the advantages of same-sex couples being publicly acknowledged via legal recognition.”

The court said that “public discussion on what sort of system is suitable for this has not been fully carried out.”

Most of Japan supports same-sex marriage, and some localities, such as Tokyo, have started to issue partnership certificates to gay and lesbian couples.

According to the media, this may enable people to rent apartments and get hospital visiting privileges.

According to Reuters, since same-sex couples are unable to marry legally, they are unable to inherit each other’s possessions and have no parental rights over each other’s children.

The plaintiffs in the 2021 action in Sapporo also sought $9,100 apiece for their hardships.

Even though the court determined that “legal advantages arising from weddings should equally benefit both gays and heterosexuals,” the plaintiffs were not awarded the money.