Japan: Osaka court rules ban on same-sex marriage constitutional

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Japan: Osaka court rules ban on same-sex marriage constitutional

Japan’s ban on same-sex marriages does not violate the constitution, a district court in Osaka has ruled.

The ruling dealt a blow to gay couples and rights activists, after another district court in Sapporo ruled in 2021 that the failure to recognise same-sex marriage was “unconstitutional”.

Japan’s constitution defines marriage as one between “both sexes”.

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It is the only country in the G7 group of developed nations that doesn’t allow people of the same gender to marry.

Opinion polls show a majority of the general public is in favour of allowing same-sex marriage in Japan.

Several areas – including Tokyo – have begun issuing partnership certificates, to help same-sex couples rent properties and gain hospital visitation rights.

The Osaka case was filed by three same-sex couples, two of them male and one female. The case is only the second of its kind to be heard in the country, where conservative attitudes towards homosexuality remain.

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