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Japan's major opposition parties submit Bill calling for marriage equality

The Asian country is currently run by conservative party Liberal Democractic Party

2019-06-03

Words: Steve Brown

Japan’s major opposition parties have submitted a Bill calling for marriage equality.

Last month, Taiwan made history as the first place in Asia to legalise same-sex marriages and last week, Hong Kong abolished four laws that criminalised homosexuality but still refuse to recognise same-sex marriages.

But now, Japan’s major oppositions parties are looking for the country to legalise marriage equality despite the conservative ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) not advancing civil rights for LGBTQ people, according to the Straits Times.

The Bill – which was submitted by the Constitutional Democratic Party, Japanese Communist Party and others on Monday (June 3) – states that marriage will be established on the basis of marriage equality.

The language will be changed into neutral terms with the words ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ will be replaced by ‘party of marriage’ while ‘father and mother’ will simply be referred to as ‘parent’.

However, Article 24 of the Japanese Constitution states that ‘marriage shall be based only on the mutual consent of both sexes and it shall be maintained through mutual cooperation with the equal rights of husband and wife as a basis.’

Activists have argued that there has been little or no progress on marriage equality in Japan and said it would be a source of embarrassment when Tokyo hosts the 2020 Olympic games.