Yesterday saw a large gathering of LBGTQ+ people, as they filed a human rights relief request with Japan’s largest bar associate in an attempt to get same-sex marriage legalised.
The petitioners, which number 455, say that the failure by Japan to legalise same-sex marriage violates their equal rights, as it is enshrined in the constitution.
An official investigation into their complaints will be conducted by the Japan Federation of Bar Associations, and if they decide in favor of the petitioners, they could issue a warning to the government demanding an official corrective response.
According to Toshimasa Yamashita, one of the lawyers involved, the warning would not be legally binding but would have a “far reaching” impact.
When speaking to Japanese press at a news conference in Tokyo, he said: “If issued, the warning will be quite comprehensive, formulated based on the bar association’s meticulous research and analysis. It will likely be used as a reference in Diet sessions or trials whenever the topic of same-sex marriages arises.”
The request itself is rather lengthy, and lists about 30 different disadvantages same-sex couples experience, just a few examples are public housing, health and inheritance.
They are also arguing that their constitution states that marriage should be based on an agreement of the sexes, and is not a ban on same-sex marriage.
Naturally, Toshimasa believes that the historic SCOTUS ruling will lend their case a lot of momentum. It’s nice to see this coming out in Japan, and again shows how the ruling in the US is being felt worldwide. Leaders in various countries where marriage equality is still not a thing are feeling the pressure to change as the outcry for equality and the show of support from governments and citizens alike grows ever louder.