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Japanese court rules same-sex marriage ban not unconstitutional

( Washington Examiner )

Japan has ruled a ban on same-sex marriage does not violate the country's constitution, a major setback for LGBT rights within the Asian country.

A Japanese district court ruled on Monday in favor of the ban, addressing a March 2021 court case regarding the eligibility of gay rights. The ruling means that Japan is the only member of the G-7 countries to restrict LGBT marriages.

However, the court noted that there is not enough public data regarding same-sex marriage in Japan and that "it may be possible to create a new system recognizing the interests of same-sex couples."

"From the perspective of individual dignity, it can be said that it is necessary to realize the benefits of same-sex couples being publicly recognized through official recognition," the court added. "Public debate on what kind of system is appropriate for this has not been thoroughly carried out."

Several cities, including Tokyo, have taken action to offer legal protections to LGBT couples without confirming their ability to marry. At least nine of Japan's prefectures now recognize same-sex partnerships, which will allow the couples limited rights with regard to housing and hospital visitations.

Support for same-sex marriage has been on the rise for several years. Sixty-five percent of Japan's residents said they supported same-sex marriage, according to a March 2021 poll from the Asahi Shimbun.

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