Osaka court rejects same-sex couples' lawsuit against the state
A court in western Japan on Monday rejected claims for damages from the state by three same-sex couples, ruling that not recognising same-sex marriage in the country does not violate the constitution, in a blow to gay rights activists.
The ruling by Osaka District Court came after Sapporo District Court ruled in March last year that the current situation violates Article 14 of the Constitution, which ensures legal equality, although it, too, rejected the claim for damages.
Similar lawsuits are also being heard in district courts in Tokyo and the cities of Nagoya and Fukuoka.
In the Osaka lawsuit, the couples, who live in Aichi, Kyoto and Kagawa prefectures, demanded ¥1 million (262,000 baht) in damages per person, claiming that the Constitution’s Article 24, which guarantees freedom of marriage, should apply to same-sex couples, as well.
The plaintiffs also argued that the situation in which same-sex couples cannot marry or receive benefits such as spousal tax deductions, as well as inheritance and other rights, violates Article 14.
In addition, they alleged that the Diet, the country’s parliament, neglected to take legislative measures to improve the situation and that negligence is illegal.
The government insisted that as the current legal system does not accept same-sex marriage.
Japan's constitution defines marriage as one of "mutual consent between both sexes".
Under the current rules, same-sex couples cannot marry legally, cannot inherit their partner's assets, and have no parental rights over their partner's children.
The Japan News
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