Japanese city issues cards to prove same-sex partnerships in emergency cases

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The Japanese city of Sapporo has started issuing cards which prove same-sex couples are in relationships for emergency cases like hospitalization of one of the partners. The cards contain the names of both partners, the date of issue and a note asking people to identify the purpose of it, but it is not a form of legal connection between two people in a general meaning. Sapporo, on the northern island of Hokkaido, launched its partnership oath scheme in 2017 to officially recognize same-sex couples in the city, but has only just started distributing the cards. Although same-sex partnerships do not have the same legal rights as marriage, the cards are designed help couples avoid problems in certain situations like sharing a common apartment or applying for a hospital visit. Ken Suzuki, of the same-sex partnership support group Domestic Partnership Sapporo, told Out-Japan: “The door of hope has opened right before us. We will keep moving forward. I hope more LGBT people and their allies will work together for the bettering of LGBT rights in Japan.”

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