A court in Japan on Monday endorsed the ban on same-sex marriagesin that country. He affirmed that this restriction does not violate the Constitution and rejected the demands for compensation from three couples who said that their right to free union and equality had been violated.
The ruling by the Osaka District Court is the second decision on the issue and is at odds with a ruling last year by a Sapporo court that declared a ban on same-sex marriages unconstitutional.
It underlines how divisive the issue remains in Japan, the sole member of the Group of Seven major industrialized countries that does not recognize same-sex unions.
In its ruling, the Osaka court rejected the plaintiffs’ demand for 1 million yen ($7,400) in damages per couple for the discrimination they face.
The plaintiffs – two male couples and one female couple – were among 14 same-sex couples who filed lawsuits against the government in five major cities – Sapporo, Tokyo, Nagoya, Fukuoka and Osaka – in 2019 for violating union rights and equality.
They argued that they have been illegally discriminated against by being deprived of the same economic and legal benefits that heterosexual couples enjoy through marriage.
Support for sexual diversity has grown slowly in Japan, but still legal protections are lacking for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. The LGBTQ population often faces discrimination at school, work, and home, causing many to hide their sexual identity.
Rights groups had pushed for an equality law to be passed ahead of last summer’s Tokyo Olympics, when international attention focused on Japan, but the bill was killed by the ruling conservative party.
With AP information