The Nagoya District Court in Japan has ruled that bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional, making this the second time in Japan’s history that courts have ruled in favor of marriage equality.
Though these rulings are a step forward, they do not grant same-sex couples the same rights as heterosexual couples. GCN reports, “partners cannot inherit each other’s assets and do not attain parental rights to each other’s children.”
Japan is the only G7 state that doesn’t allow same-sex marriage, but pressure mounts as an increasing number of the country’s municipalities have moved to allow same-sex couples to enter into marriages. LGBTQ+ advocates and allies hope that this ruling and others will push the Japanese government to legalize same-sex marriage in the coming years.
Last year, a court ruling in Osaka claimed that the bans on same-sex marriage were constitutional, devastating LGBTQ+ communities throughout Japan. Lawyer Yoko Mizushima told reporters: “This ruling has rescued us from the hurt of last year’s ruling that said there was nothing wrong with the ban, and the hurt of what the government keeps saying.”
Japan continues to take small strides toward national marriage equality as other G7 nations push them to become more inclusive.