In landmark ruling, Japan High Court terms ban on same-sex marriage ‘unconstitutional’

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03/16/2024

In a landmark ruling, the Japanese High Court said that the country’s lack of legal recognition of same-sex marriage is “unconstitutional,” the Japan Times reported. The move is likely to further mount pressure on the Japanese government to do more to protect sexual minorities. The Sapporo High Court upheld the lower court’s landmark verdict in 2021 that said non-recognition of same-sex marriage violates the right to equality protected under the Constitution but rejected a total of 6 million yen (USD 40,600) in damages sought by three same-sex couples in Hokkaido against the state for emotional distress. The ruling, the first by a high court among six lawsuits filed at five district courts questioning the government’s failure to allow same-sex marriage, said the unacceptance not only violates Article 14 on the right to equality but also Article 24, which says marriage shall be only on the mutual consent of “both sexes.”

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