plaintiffs appeal tokyo court ruling on same sex marriage
Plaintiffs in Tokyo have appealed against a court decision recently that had upheld the Japanese government’s ban on same sex marriages as being ‘constitutional’.
A district court in the Tokyo Prefecture had ruled recently that Japan’s “constitutional ban on same sex marriage is legal”. The court had also added that an absence of any law to protect same sex families is a violation of their human rights. Nobuhito Sawasaki, an attorney for the plaintiffs had said, “This is actually a fairly positive ruling,” said Sawasaki who added, “While marriage remains between a man and a woman, and the ruling supported that, it also said that the current situation with no legal protections for same-sex families is not good, and suggested something must be done about it.”
Article 24 of the Constitution of Japan states “Marriage shall be based only on the mutual consent of both sexes.” The ruling had added that the “lack of a legal framework for same-sex couples to constitute a family is a grave threat and obstacle to their right to live”.
In the February 2019 filed lawsuit, the eight plaintiffs that included same sex couples had argued that the ban on same sex marriage by the government is a violation of the Constitution, that ensures everyone’s right to equality and guarantees their freedom to marry. Among the plaintiffs are couple Haru Ono and Asami Nishikawa, who are raising the three children together who are from their former marriages to men. “We want the court to clearly state it is ‘unconstitutional’ so that we can live as an ordinary family,” Ono said at a news conference after filing the appeal.
It is to be noted that Japan is the only G7 or Group of Seven nation that has still not recognized same sex marriages. Taiwan had become the first nation in Asia to legalize same sex marriage in year 2019.