The LGTBI collective in Japan received a setback by the Judiciary of the Asian country with a sentence that maintains that It is not unconstitutional to ignore same-sex marriage. The Osaka District Court on Monday ignored a ruling from March 2021, of the Sapporo Justice, which had pointed out as “discriminatory treatment without a rational basis” the lack of legislation that recognizes homosexual unions.
“Not allowing same-sex marriage does not violate the Constitution”, sentenced the Osaka Court in what turned out to be a retreat for the fight for LGTBI rights, in which several couples have advanced with legal demands to be recognized. In addition to the sentenced class action lawsuits filed in Sapporo (north) and Osaka (west), three other similar lawsuits are expected in Tokyo (east), Nagoya (central) and Fukuoka (southwest), which will continue to shape the claim for civil rights.
The legal debate is around two articles of the Japanese Constitution. The class action lawsuits are based on article 14 of the Japanese Magna Carta, which stipulates “equality before the law and non-discrimination in political, economic or social relations on the basis of race, creed, sex, social status or origin”. In line with the first ruling, known in March 2021, in the Sapporo courts.
However, the Osaka ruling is based on another article of the Japanese Constitution, article 24, which defines marriage “based solely on the mutual consent of both sexes”, understanding that it can only be between a man and a woman.
In any case, the court recognized that “from the perspective of individual dignity, it can be said that it is necessary to make the benefits of same-sex couples publicly recognized through official recognition.” Until now, the Japanese Government supports the argument of article 24 of the Constitution not to advance in laws that recognize the rights of homosexual couples.
In relation to the responsibility of the State, both the Sapporo and Osaka judgments dismissed the claim of the plaintiffs to receive financial compensation of 1 million yuan (7,000 dollars) for being discriminated against.