TOKYO: On Monday, a Japanese court declared that a prohibition on same-sex marriage is not unconstitutional, striking a blow to LGBTQ rights activists in the only Group of Seven country that does not allow persons of the same gender to marry.
After a court in the city of Sapporo ruled in March 2021 that prohibiting same-sex marriage was unconstitutional, activists’ hopes of putting pressure on the national government to address the matter were dashed.
The lawsuit was filed in a district court in Osaka by three same-sex couples, two male and one female. It was just the second time the topic had been heard in Japan.
The court dismissed their allegation that being unable to marry was unconstitutional, as well as their demand for one million dollars in damages for each couple.
However, activists and attorneys in Osaka were encouraged by the establishment of partnership rights for same-sex couples in Tokyo last week, as well as increased support in opinion polls.
According to the Osaka court, marriage is only defined as a union between people of opposing genders, and there hasn’t been enough debate in Japanese culture over same-gender marriage.