Japan has opened the first type of legal recognition of homosexual unions, with the initiative of Tokyo’s Shibuya district of recognizing same-sex couples.
The municipality plans to start issuing certificates of civil marriage to gay couples in April, estabishing an important precedent for other local entities and even the central executive branch.
The Japanese Constitution defines marriage as the “union based only on the mutual consent of persons of different sex” and civil law does not recognize any rights for gay couples.
Shibuya, pretends this way to end discrimination against these couples to access tax benefits, social services or shared contracts.
“Our goal is that LGBT residents (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) can live in a diverse society where differences are mutually accepted and respected,” said at a press conference the Mayor of Shibuya, Toshikate Kuwahara.
After meeting with lawyers and representatives of the LGBT community, the local government prepared a draft law which must still be approved by the local assembly in March, and would enter into force from April.