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Sapporo in Japan starts issuing cards to verify LGBT partnerships

The city of Sapporo in Japan started issuing cards that will serve as legal and official proof of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) partnerships.

Proof of love?

The city of Sapporo in Japan started issuing cards that will serve as legal and official proof of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) partnerships. This comes after calls from couples in LGBT relationships to come up with “portable evidence” that they can present in emergencies and other situations that require the same.

This is worth highlighting: The new card – which is the same size as a name card and bears the names of both partners and the date of issue – simply asks people to recognize its purpose, while acknowledging it is not legally binding.

This is because LGBT partnerships do not entail legal rights or obligations under civil law in the way that marriage does, although the new card is expected to be used when couples rent accommodations or wish to visit a partner in the hospital, among other situations.

In the absence of a similar nationwide scheme, various localities in Japan have been certifying the partnership oaths of LGBT couples since 2015.

Tokyo’s Shibuya and Setagaya wards became the first municipalities to recognize such partnerships in 2015. Other cities eventually followed, including: Iga, Takarazuka, Fukuoka, Naha and, yes, Sapporo.

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