Refusal to Recognize Same-Sex Marriage Prompts Couples to Sue Japanese Government

Same-sex couples are suing the Japanese government over failing to recognize marriage equality, according to Japan Times.

The ten couples expressed disappointment with the government's position on same-sex marriage as it actively ignores marriage equality under the law and freedom of marriage that is promised in the constitution. 

In Article 24 the Constitution, it says that “marriage shall be based only on the mutual consent of both sexes.” There is some disagreement about the interpretation of the article, as the government says that it only refers to heterosexual couples, but legal scholars do not see it as a prohibition of same-sex marriage.

The government also says that using the terms "husband and wife" in civic law and family registration law indicates a man and a woman, and, as such, cannot accept same-sex marriage applications. 

Marriage equality has been increasingly more accepted around the world, with the Netherlands first legalizing it in 2001 which caused other European nations to legalize it as well. Outside of Europe, countries in North America have legalized same-sex marriage. Hopefully, the Japanese government will recognize that same-sex couples deserve the same marriage rights as heterosexual couples and that the constitution will be amended to allow marriage equality. 

h/t: Japan Times

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