A Japanese court for the first time has
struck down as unconstitutional the nation's ban on same-sex
The Sapporo District Court issued its
ruling on Wednesday.
Gay and lesbian couples cannot legally
marry under current Japanese law. In 2019, three couples filed a
lawsuit after they were unable to register their marriages.
The court ruled against the government,
saying that it had violated the couples' right to equal treatment
under Japan's constitution. The court also rejected the government's
claim that the constitution denies the right of marriage to same-sex
couples. While Article 24 uses the term “husband and wife” to
describe marriage, it does not expressly prohibit gay couples from
marrying, the court found.
Japan does not recognize the marriages
of same-sex couples performed abroad.
At least four other cases are working
their way through the courts, according to press reports. The
government said it would be carefully watching the outcomes in these