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Japan’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, court rules

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Japan

Japan’s ban on same-sex marriage has been ruled unconstitutional by one of the country’s court.

The case was part of a series of lawsuits filed by same-sex couples arguing that they’ve suffered because they can’t marry,  Japan Times reports.

Many of the couples sued on Valentine’s day 2019, with actions being brought in Sapporo, Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya. Another group of same-sex couples filed suit in Fukuoka in September 2019.

Same-sex couples in Japan cannot inherit their partner’s houses, property and other assets, or have parental rights to any children.

The Sapporo district court ruled that sexuality is not a matter of individual preference and therefore there is no justification for stopping same-sex couples from receiving the same benefits as heterosexual partnerships.

“Legal benefits stemming from marriages should equally benefit both homosexuals and heterosexuals,” a copy of the summary of the ruling stated.

Under the current law, marriage should be based on the mutual consent of both sexes, interpreted as only allowing marriage between a man and a woman.

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