Group lawsuits to legalise same-sex marriage

In Japan, same-sex couples are accepted by society but completely ignored in politics. For the first time, 13 couples will file a lawsuit on Valentine's Day to demand protection. However, Shinzo Abe’s government has already made it clear that this will never happen as long as the Liberal Democrats are in power.

Tokyo (AsiaNews) - A group of 13 same-sex couples plans to file lawsuits tomorrow to request formal recognition of gay marriage.

The plaintiffs in the group suits are 13 same-sex couples who live in Tokyo and seven other prefectures and range in age from their 20s to 50s.

“A country that does not recognize a gay marriage as legal amounts to branding same-sex couples as a ‘union not approved by society,’” said Takako Uesugi, who will co-lead the legal team in the lawsuit in Tokyo. “We would like to restore the dignity of people who love their partners of the same gender.”

Their lawyers will argue that the failure to allow same-sex marriage violates Japan’s constitution, which guarantees freedom of marriage and equality of every citizen before the law.

However, the central government, under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), are reluctant to legally recognise gay marriages.

In its election campaign, the LDP had championed the traditional concept of a family being a man and a woman with children.