Small steps to equality.
The Fukuoka Municipal Government has started to officially recognize the partnerships of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) couples, adding to the Japan-wide efforts to eliminate discrimination against sexual minorities.
With this development, the city becomes the seventh municipality in Japan to issue such certificates following Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward, which established a similar system in 2015.
Fukuoka Mayor Soichiro Takashima handed the first official partnership certificate to a couple at City Hall.
It is worth noting that the certificate does not entail legal rights or obligations like marriage under the civil law. However, such couples will be treated as the equivalent of traditionally married couples when they rent city-run housing or seek treatment at municipal hospitals.
LGBT couples need to make reservations to receive the certificate. As of reporting, five other couples had already done so, according to the municipal government.