A Japanese court ruled on Wednesday March 17 that the failure to recognize same-sex marriage was unconstitutional, a first in the country that was immediately hailed as a victory by equal rights activists.
The trial court in Sapporo, a large city on the northern island of Hokkaido, ruled that the non-recognition of gay marriage was contrary to article 14 of the Constitution, which states that “All citizens are equal before the law”.
Japan is the last G7 country not to recognize same-sex marriage. The State considers that such a union is “Not planned” by the Constitution of 1947, which confines itself to emphasizing in relation to marriage the need for “Mutual consent of both sexes”, which leaves room for many interpretations.
Legal actions against the state
This judgment is the first to be rendered in legal actions against the Japanese state initiated by a dozen homosexual couples in 2019 to obtain legal recognition of their unions. “I couldn’t hold back my tears, reacted one of the complainants in front of the press. The tribunal sincerely looked at our problem and I think it really made a good decision. “
The elected opposition Kanako Otsuji, one of the few politicians of the archipelago openly LGBT, said in a tweet “Really, really happy” of this decision. “I call on the Diet, as a legislative branch of the State, to deliberate on a proposal to amend the civil code to make it possible” same-sex unions, she added.