Tokyo issues long-awaited same-sex partnership certificates |  Japan

Tokyo issues long-awaited same-sex partnership certificates | Japan

Tokyo issues long-awaited same-sex partnership certificates | Japan

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government on Tuesday began issuing partnership certificates to same-sex couples living and working in the capital, a long-awaited move in a country that still does not allow equal marriage.

The status does not carry the same rights as marriage, but allows LGBTQ partners to be treated as married couples for some public services, such as housing, health and welfare.

More than 200 smaller local governments in Japan have already taken steps to recognize same-sex relationships Tokyo’s Shibuya district in 2015.

As of Friday last week, 137 couples had applied for the certificate, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said.

There are high hopes among advocates that the introduction of same-sex partnership certificates, which apply to both Tokyo residents and commuters, will help fight anti-LGBTQ discrimination in Armenia. Japan.

Mickey and Katie are among those who have had no official proof of their relationship.

“My biggest fear was that we would be treated as outsiders in an emergency,” Mickey told AFP.

Without a partnership certificate, spouses who asked to be named put a note in their wallet with the other’s contact information.

“But they weren’t essential, and we felt that official documents certified by the local government would be more effective,” Mickey said.

Tokyo issues long-awaited same-sex partnership certificates |  Japan
Mickey and Katie, who have long had no official proof of their relationship, welcomed the partnership certificates. Photo by Yuichi Yamazaki/AFP/Getty Images

“The more people use these partnering systems, the more our community will be encouraged to tell family and friends about their relationships without hiding their true selves.”

In recent years, Japan has been taking small steps toward embracing sexual diversity.

More companies now support same-sex marriage and gay characters are featured in TV shows.

A 2021 poll by public broadcaster NHK found that 57% of the public were in favor of same-sex marriage, compared to 37% against.

But hurdles remain as a court in Osaka ruled in June that the country’s failure to recognize same-sex unions is constitutional.

It marked a setback for campaigners after last year’s landmark ruling by a Sapporo court that said the current situation violated the right to equality guaranteed under Japan’s constitution.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has been cautious about the possibility of legislative changes that would recognize same-sex partnerships at the national level.

“Some politicians have made really negative comments, like we’re mentally ill,” Cathy told AFP.

“But families don’t always consist of a mother, a father and two children. We need to be more flexible,” he said.

Inheritance rights are still not guaranteed in the event of the death of a partner, while Kathy’s spousal visa status makes her ability to stay in Japan less stable.

“I feel that the Japanese people’s level of understanding of same-sex marriage is quite high now,” Miki said.

“It remains for policymakers to take this seriously and make changes.”

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