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Japan Court Rules Same-Sex Marriage Ban is Unconstitutional

Published Thursday, Mar. 18th, 2021

A Japanese court ruled on Wednesday that the country’s ban on same-sex marriages is unconstitutional. 


The Sapporo District Court’s ruling cites Article 14 of Japan’s constitution, which says that “All of the people are equal under the law and there shall be no discrimination in political, economic or social relations because of race, creed, sex, social status or family origin.”


The court argued that because sexual orientation is not a choice, it is unfair to discriminate against same-sex couples and withhold from them any legal benefits of marriage.


There have been over a dozen cases filed against the Japanese government by same-sex couples in recent years, but this is the first to reach a verdict. 


LGBTQ advocates hope that this decision marks the start of a new era of marriage equality in the country, and the plaintiff's lawyers are urging the Parliment to start working on laws to make same-sex marriages possible. 


Get the full scoop in Rachel Treisman’s article for NPR






The fight for true marriage equality is ongoing...


AMM doesn't often report on international marriage news, but this decision is monumental! We're part of an increasingly connected global community, and we're thrilled to see these sparks of change for LGBTQ+ couples and their families living in Japan.


There have been equally memorable days here in the US, including the day Loving v Virginia (1967) was decided, paving the way for interracial marriages in every state, and the day Obergefell v Hodges (2015) was decided, paving the way for nationally recognized same-sex marriages. 


And the work continues! We believe every couple has the right to marry on their own terms, including the right to choose who performs their wedding ceremony:





Jessica Levey
Jessica Levey

Lead Staff Writer & Illustrator

Jessica loves exploring the history and magic of ritual, the connections between people and places, and sharing true stories about love and commitment. She's an advocate for marriage equality, LGBTQ+ rights, and individuality, and is an ordained Minister with AMM. When she’s not writing or illustrating for AMM, she enjoys city hikes, fantasy novels, comics, and traveling.

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