Same-sex couples in Japan talk about the perspective of marriage

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Thirteen same-sex couples filed a lawsuit against the Japanese government in February, claiming that if Japan accepts gay people (technically it does – homosexuality is legal), then it should accept their right to marry as well, otherwise it would be against international human rights laws and the country’s own Constitution. They argue that the issues surrounding same-sex marriage goes against Article 24 of constitution, which says “marriage shall be based only on the mutual consent of both sexes.” This article bans same-sex couples from spousal rights, such as custody on non-biological children, visiting a same-sex partner in a hospital or inheriting their possessions in case of their death. Without marriage same-sex couples are unable to help their partners in their time before death or attend the funeral. One of the lawyers representing the plaintiffs, Shigenori Nakagawa, believes the trial could take up to five years before any decision is made.

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