Kane and Kotfe have been together for 12 years but their country’s law treats them as ‘strangers’

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02/26/2024

Kaneshige ‘Kane’ Hirata, a former firefighter, and Kohei ‘Kotfe’ Katsuyama, a former police officer, have been in a committed relationship for the past 12 years, living together in Japan for most of this time. However, the couple is unable to tie the knot legally, as Japan remains the only country in the G7 yet to legalise same-sex marriage. “We’ve been together for so long, but by law, we’re considered to be strangers,” Kotfe tells SBS Japanese. They’re among 50 people travelling from Japan to parade in this year’s Mardi Gras, advocating for LGBTQIA+ rights and diversity in their country.

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