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Kirin beer company toasts same-sex marriages for its employees

8 Comments
By Richard Simmons, SoraNews24

With same-sex partnerships now officially recognised in some parts of Japan, a number of companies have made public announcements in support of greater LGBT rights and awareness within their corporations and in society in general. On the heels of Panasonic’s announcement last year, beer and soft drinks giant Kirin Holdings, Ltd. has announced a change to its guidelines to ensure there is no discrimination based upon sexual orientation or gender identity, and to recognise employees’ same-sex marriages from the start of this month. Common-law marriages will be similarly recognised.

Company rules regarding things like condolence leave, company housing, and assorted benefits will be rewritten so that common-law or same-sex couples receive them in the same way as their married colleagues currently do. Medical leave will also be changed to allow time off for procedures such as hormone therapy, which were previously not covered. They have also announced they will be holding workshops to raise diversity awareness amongst employees and customers.

The Kirin craft beer subsidiary Spring Valley Brewery also supported this year’s Tokyo Rainbow Pride event and had a booth there, with the rather catchy slogan that “both people and beers are all different, and are all good.”

While these are clearly positive changes and show a move in the right direction when it comes to equality, there is still a lot to be done. It’s fair to say that the support of large companies will go some way to influencing smaller companies and their workers in a trickle-down effect, although that may not create change as fast as some might like it.

While the LGBT community faces challenges all over the world, sometimes Japan can appear to have more hurdles than many other developed countries, as this commercial shows, and so these announcements, and those of housing organisations like Suumo, should be applauded. How about a beer to celebrate?

Source: Kirin

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Same-sex couples to be recognized in Sapporo, Japanese city with population of around two million

-- Panasonic to recognize same-sex marriages of its employees starting this April

-- Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward to offer marriage certificates to same-sex couples

© SoraNews24

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

8 Comments
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Good move.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I am surprised, in a good way.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

That's great, now if only same-sex marriages were actually legal.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Everything in Japan is moving in the right direction. Individual wards, cities, and companies are leading the way. The country will have to follow. Grand!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Agree with Stephen Knight, it means nothing because at the top levels of government they are not even beginning to consider gay marriage as being legal. If you are a gay foreigner you can never get a spouse visa here even if your city recognizes your marriage.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

it means nothing because at the top levels of government they are not even beginning to consider gay marriage as being legal. If you are a gay foreigner you can never get a spouse visa here even if your city recognizes your marriage.

Right now, you are correct. But this is how grassroots movements work - they start making changes at the ground level, that work their way up. The more cities and companies that recognize gay marriage, the sooner the federal government will start to do so as well.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"it means nothing because at the top levels of government they are not even beginning to consider gay marriage as being legal. If you are a gay foreigner you can never get a spouse visa here even if your city recognizes your marriage."

It means something for the gay couples working for these companies. Condolence leave, company housing, and assorted benefits they wouldn't have got before, they'll get now. Also just feeling accepted and knowing their company is understanding must go a long way to their overall health and happiness.

That's great, now if only same-sex marriages were actually legal.

As more and more of the large companies, as well as more cities make their stance known, it'll put pressure on others to do the same. Sadly I think it'll take a long time for Japan to make equal marriage the real law of the land, but anything is better than nothing!

While I'd love to think companies are making the stand for moral reasons, I think there's economical factor behind it too. Companies are competing to get high-quality employees amongst an ever shrinking workforce. With GLBT making up roughly 10% of the population, why wouldn't companies try and woo them into joining their company over another? It makes total sense and has zero downsides!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I disagree...that "...beers are all good"

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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