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Japanese court says denying same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, calls for urgent change

The Sapporo High Court ruled that the country’s ban on same-sex marriage is “unconstitutional”, stating that not allowing same-sex couples to marry violates their fundamental right to have a family.

Photo by Susann Schuster from Unsplash.com

In Japan, the Sapporo High Court ruled that the country’s ban on same-sex marriage is “unconstitutional”, stating that not allowing same-sex couples to marry violates their fundamental right to have a family. It similarly called for urgent government action to address the lack of laws allowing same-sex unions.

Earlier, a lower Tokyo court issued a similar ruling, becoming the sixth district court to do so. But the ruling of the Tokyo District Court did not overturn the country’s current civil union law that describes marriage as between a man and a woman since the court does not have the power to overturn the constitution.

To date, hundreds of municipalities throughout Japan already allow same-sex couples to enter partnership agreements. However, under these agreements, their rights remain limited with partners still unable to inherit each other’s assets, not have parental rights to each other’s children, not guarantee hospital visits, and not guarantee the collection of spousal benefits.

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