TOKYO ( Associated Press) – A Japanese court ruled Monday that the country’s ban on same-sex marriage does not violate the constitution, rejecting compensation claims from three couples who it said violated their right to live together. And equality was violated.
The Osaka District Court ruling is the second ruling on the issue and contrasts with a Sapporo Court ruling last year that declared a ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. This underscores how divisive the issue is in Japan, the only 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 to pay 1 million yen ($7,400) per couple in damages they face.
The plaintiffs—two male couples and one female couple—were among 14 same-sex couples who in 2019 sued the government in five major cities—Sapporo, Tokyo, Nagoya, Fukuoka and Osaka—for violations of union rights and equality. was filed.
They argued that they have been illegally discriminated against because they are deprived of the same economic and legal benefits that heterosexual couples receive through marriage.
Support for sexual diversity has gradually increased in Japan, but legal protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people still lack. The LGBTQ population often faces discrimination at school, work, and home, forcing many to hide their sexual identities.
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 slammed by the ruling conservative party.