A Tokyo court has upheld a ban on same-sex marriage in Japan, but also considers the ban a violation of human rights. Japan is currently the only G7 nation that does not recognize same-sex marriage.
In Wednesday’s ruling, the judge dismissed the case but also said that blocking gay couples from a legal pathway to marriage was irrational. The compensation case was brought by four couples who claimed the law was discriminatory. While marriage remains between a man and a woman (the court) also said that the current situation with no legal protections for same-sex families is not good.
Campaigners have welcomed the ruling as an indication to the government that it needs to change the law. This is actually a fairly positive ruling,” said Nobuhito Sawasaki, one of the lawyers involved in the case.Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s ruling party has not disclosed any plans to change or review the legislation, although several senior members support same-sex marriage and union.
The case has been closely watched in a country that is still largely bound by traditional gender roles and family values. The latest ruling is significant because Tokyo has a big influence on the rest of Japan.