Lesbian couple Jenny and Narumi pose at Shibuya crossing in Tokyo. Photo: REUTERS/Akira Tomoshige
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Japanese same-sex couple overjoyed by marriage ruling

92 Comments
By Akira Tomoshige

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92 Comments

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snowymountainhellToday 03:31 pm JS

Yet, *@girl_in_tokyo**, we hear from you ALL THE TIME, “I have a male friend who..., etc, etc”.*

'ALL THE TIME?' Really.

You mean to say that using people one knows as an example to clarify a concept is the exact same thing as trying to extrapolate subjective feelings to all people in a marginalized group as a tactic to justify discrimination against said marginalized group? Oh, Really

Still after the ‘final word‘? Nope. With respect to other L.G.B.T.Q.I.A’s and without Your ‘crass’ and cliche’ed comments, PEOPLE will remember the relevant issues of this article:

'crass’ and cliche’ed'?

Um, okay.

Ceremonial ‘marriages’ that are ‘not legally binding’ are ineffectual to manage discrimination by businesses and governments. Governments’ need to fix THIS problem. ‘Partnership certificates’ can only facilitate some contracts within a very small scope of a municipality yet, don’t provide ANY legal guarantees of inheritance rights, spousal ‘power of attorney’ for insurance and medical decisions, nor provision for custody of a partner's children, and other critical ‘family issues.

Finally, ANY type of ‘marriage’ is still, a choice.

I'm sorry, but this is just a word salad. I have NO idea what you're trying to say. Perhaps if you used conventional capitalization and punctuation, and used words according to their common usage, it would get your message across more clearly.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Agreed. - “to you people, but there are really no significant differences between marriages”

Confused. - “So what? This is subjective personal experience, and cannot be extrapolated to all or even a statistically significant number...What evidence, that this is a widespread phenomena?”

Yet, *@girl_in_tokyo**, we hear from you ALL THE TIME, “I have a male friend who..., etc, etc”.*

*(Try holding yourself to the same standards of commentary you demand of other PEOPLE).

Still after the ‘final word‘? Nope. With respect to other L.G.B.T.Q.I.A’s and without Your ‘crass’ and cliche’ed comments, PEOPLE will remember the relevant issues of this article:

Ceremonial ‘marriages’ that are ‘not legally binding’ are ineffectual to manage discrimination by businesses and governments. Governments’ need to fix THIS problem. ‘Partnership certificates’ can only facilitate some contracts within a very small scope of a municipality yet, don’t provide ANY legal guarantees of inheritance rights, spousal ‘power of attorney’ for insurance and medical decisions, nor provision for custody of a partner's children, and other critical ‘family issues.

Finally, ANY type of ‘marriage’ is still, a choice.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

My best wishes on a long and happy life together.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Dirk Mar. 24 11:12 pm JST

That's not what Ms Drew is trying to explain.

What she was trying to do was blame same-sex marriage on divorce rates by positing that getting married causes couples to break up.

She regrets converting her own civil partnership to a marriage. ‘We were much more relaxed as civil partners than as a married couple,’ she said. Getting married puts pressure on lesbians to adopt roles more typically associated with heterosexual couples. Etc.

SHE regrets - yes. So what? This is her subjective personal experience, and cannot be extrapolated to all or even a statistically significant number same-sex couples. What evidence does she have that this is a widespread phenomena?

And does this phenomena also effect heterosexual couples, who also feel pressured to take on traditional gender roles upon marrying, or who also might feel more pressure going from singlehood to being married?

Finally, what is her POINT? Is she trying to say that allowing same-sex marriage is a mistake? And if so, is allowing heterosexual marraige ALSO a mistake?

I hate to break it to you people, but there are really no significant differences between the dynamics of heterosexual marriages and the dynamics of same-sex marriages. We love the same, fight the same, and even fvck the same.

Heteros just can't seem get it through their heads that gay people are PEOPLE. Sheesh.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Also,

regarding same sex couples having children; I know many who had children from a prior hetero marriage, finally they divorced because they were courageous enough to choose to live life as they truly and truthfully needed to. Bisexuals also have children but are excluded from a formal commitment if they want a same sex marriage.

Refusing same sex marriage is just bigotry!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I’m all for LGBT rights. But even if same sex marriage is legal here, it’s still pretty hard to start a family. The dynamics in the bedroom just don’t really work on a biological level and adoption is a long drawn out process that can also be quite costly and the other options are astronomically more.

Although maybe drawn out, it seems to work fine for heterosexual couples who cannot have children on a "biological level".

Good luck to these two and Al other same sex couples. Very much hope they are allowed equality to the rights that heterosexual couples enjoy.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Sorry, @Dirk 11:12a Some people are blinded by just making a point’ and/or winning ‘small arguments’ over semantics that they can’t see they’re arguing with an L.G.B.T.Q.I.’A.dvocate’. From your post, we can see you’re a ‘supporter of choice’.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Religions are prejudiced by their man made nature, old patriarchal led societies are also founded on their local prejudices. It has taken a long time for all nations to remove this unfair disadvantage.

Let all who wish to commit to marriage enjoy the same misery! lol

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Before same-sex marriage was legal, there was zero divorce among lesbians because they couldn't get married

That's not what Ms Drew is trying to explain. She regrets converting her own civil partnership to a marriage. ‘We were much more relaxed as civil partners than as a married couple,’ she said. Getting married puts pressure on lesbians to adopt roles more typically associated with heterosexual couples. Etc.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Dirk Today 06:45 pm JST

The founder of Britain’s first fertility clinic for same-sex couples, Nathalie Drew, believes the legalisation of gay marriage has resulted in a soaring divorce rate among lesbians.

Um, what?

Before same-sex marriage was legal, there was zero divorce among lesbians because they couldn't get married so quite obviously, after same-sex marriage was legalized, divorces became a thing that sometimes happens.

This whole thing is drivel.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Here's some food for thought:

The founder of Britain’s first fertility clinic for same-sex couples, Nathalie Drew, believes the legalisation of gay marriage has resulted in a soaring divorce rate among lesbians. Government figures in UK recently showed that divorces among lesbian couples were about three times higher than those among gay men. It came as the overall number of divorces in England and Wales saw their largest rise for nearly half a century. Natalie Drew’s concerns over gay marriage, which was introduced in 2014, have grown since she discovered that about a third of the 586 lesbian couples she helped to have babies between 2011 and 2015 have split up. Ms Drew, 45, whose own same-sex marriage ended last year, believes the breakdown of many lesbian relationships today is caused by couples rushing into traditional married life that they may be unsuited for. 'I don’t think the law should have changed from allowing gay people to have civil partnerships to actually getting married,’ she said.

Ms Drew suggested that getting married put pressure on lesbians to adopt roles more typically associated with heterosexual couples. ‘You get caught up in these expected roles, one being the breadwinner, going out earning the money, and one being the mother,’ she said. ‘There’s an expectation you’ll fit into these traditional roles because you’ve done the norm, you’ve done what everyone else has done and got married. ‘But we are not the norm. And I think this causes an imbalance, because the one going out to work feels left out of motherhood.’ She feels too many female couples had rushed into marriage, saying: ‘With lesbian couples, everything happens so fast. They move from a relationship into marriage, sometimes within months. There’s no steady, easy-going dating process.’ Ms Drew regrets converting her own civil partnership to a marriage in 2015. ‘We were much more relaxed as civil partners than as a married couple,she said.

Kanak Ghosh, of the ONS, said that since same-sex couples have been able to marry in England and Wales from 2014, there has been an increase in divorces year on year. He added: ‘Unreasonable behaviour, which includes adultery, was the most common ground for divorce among same-sex couples this year, as almost two-thirds of couples divorced for this reason.'

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Gay married couples have as much right to be miserable as straight ones.But theirs noticeably last much shorter on average.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

PaulToday 11:45 am JST

What happened to that a marriage is a union between a man and a woman? The purpose of which gives a child a stable growing up environment. Now marriage as a legal way to manage assets.

Welcome to the 2000s, where blatant discrimination is no long acceptable.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Yes. All elements of marriage @*Paul 11:45a. ...And with a family’s assets, should also come the legal, ethical and moral responsibilities like “health, medical decisions, custody of children, etc.*

2 ( +2 / -0 )

What happened to that a marriage is a union between a man and a woman? The purpose of which gives a child a stable growing up environment. Now marriage as a legal way to manage assets.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

For some, it’s ‘too easy’ to single out individuals for their tiny, opposing viewpoints and NEVER really addressing any of the media, groups, organizations, businesses or governments as a whole. THESE are the ‘entities’ that are truly responsible’ for creating & perpetuating the institutions and discrimination against MANY classes of people, not just a specific segment of the populace. IF you are truly virtuous, start using your energy and ‘morning routine’ to go after ‘the bigger issues’ and not, weakly, just some select individuals for their individual, basically powerless viewpoints and semantics within a comments thread.

Non-legally binding marriages, ineffectual, perhaps false, partnership certificates that only facilitate contracts and such within the small scope of a municipality but don’t provide legal guarantees of inheritance rights, medical decisions, or custody of a partner's children, is the real issue here.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Using narcissistic celebrities’ behaviors as an analogy to support or argue against an issue is weak and a failure in itself. THEY have no real effect on issues and, we know, they will say and do ONLY what brings THEM attention. So, until we refrain from weak arguing with ‘individuals’ perhaps it doesn’t help ANY community to be affiliated with you, or THEM. You’re only perpetuating negative attention to these issues.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Some people are not intelligent enough or blinded by just winning ‘small arguments’ that they can’t see they’re arguing with an ‘advocate’.

From your post, we can see you’re a ‘supporter of rights’.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

StrangerlandToday 06:18 am JST

I didn't say finances, I said resources. I hope you don't score your relationships with a dollar value.

Great! Then we agree.

Nothing. But permanent doesn't mean it never ends, it means it's not temporary. Just like permanent residence in Japan doesn't mean you can't nor never will leave.

Well, why can't people marry just for a short time, just for fun? Just for kicks? Just 'cause weddings are a good excuse to party? Or just 'cause someone wants to wear a pretty dress, or get presents? And then divorce right after, LOL.

Oh, wait - actually, they can, can't they. I think it was Britney Spears who got married for 24 hours, wasn't it? Or was it Paris Hilton? Anyway - that's the funny part of this - there really are hardly any rules for what a marriage is, or what a married couple can or can't do; the only rules are about WHO can get married. And it seems we both agree that everyone should be able to get married.

Or not.

As they wish.

Is that what you're thinking, too?

Suddenly, I'm starting to realize you reacted to my post, without actually reading what it said.

I read it, understood it, added to it, and really, it looks like we are mainly in agreement. Wow!! :)

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Why should they live together? There are lots of long distance relationships these days, as well as couples who simply decide not to co-habitate.

That's a good question for debate.

In fact, why should they even be in love?

Um, the example I have was exactly two people NOT in love.

Suddenly, I'm starting to realize you reacted to my post, without actually reading what it said.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Why should they have to bind their resources together? These days a lot of couples have separate finances.

I didn't say finances, I said resources. I hope you don't score your relationships with a dollar value.

Why should they be required to be a permanent unit? What is wrong with a short union, not meant to be until death?

Nothing. But permanent doesn't mean it never ends, it means it's not temporary. Just like permanent residence in Japan doesn't mean you can't nor never will leave.

Permanent

intended to exist or function for a long, indefinite period without regard to unforeseeable conditions:

https://www.dictionary.com/browse/permanent

0 ( +1 / -1 )

StrangerlandToday 05:24 am JST

If they're willing to band their resources together, to move forward as a permanent unit with their interests etc financially intertwined, then why not? Why should 'love' or 'sexual interest' be required for two people to get the rights of partners? Who made up this silly rule? (hint: religion)

Just a few thoughts ...

Why should they have to bind their resources together? These days a lot of couples have separate finances.

Why should they be required to be a permanent unit? What is wrong with a short union, not meant to be until death? When you think about, it, expecting a relatiionship to last until one person is DEAD is rather grim.

Why should they live together? There are lots of long distance relationships these days, as well as couples who simply decide not to co-habitate.

In fact, why should they even be in love? Lots of married couples aren't, but stay together regardless. There are also people who married for other reasons, such an financial or emotional support, support in child raising, and their relationship is completely platonic and non-romantic.

Why not plural marriage, group marriage?

If marriage should be for everyone, then it should be for EVERYONE - no rules, regulations, no one from the outside dictating to the people how they should define their relationship, and no rules but their own.

IMO marriage is on its way to being obsolete. I'd be more than happy to see the institution fading away.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

StrangerlandToday 05:24 am JST

If they're willing to band their resources together, to move forward as a permanent unit with their interests etc financially intertwined, then why not? Why should 'love' or 'sexual interest' be required for two people to get the rights of partners? Who made up this silly rule? (hint: religion)

This makes sense. I understand the "marriage implication with religion, and the tax incentive to procreate. But in a modern society, if two men or two women want to say they'll spend the rest of their lives with each other, give them the same legal and tax benefits.

They get to experience the ugly of divorce like the rest of us. Not a big deal.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

As there is no legal definition of "love", any grouping of two people, including two college roommate buddies, should be granted the same privileges.

Nobody should be denied the right to marriage.

If they're willing to band their resources together, to move forward as a permanent unit with their interests etc financially intertwined, then why not? Why should 'love' or 'sexual interest' be required for two people to get the rights of partners? Who made up this silly rule? (hint: religion)

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Formal 'Marriage' is a recent custom in Human social structure and, before the State became completely intrusive, people would work things out for themselves, same as many do now despite the 'legal' impediments even for heteros. Humans do not MATE according to law or 'public opinion'. We mate according to inner drives and innate tendencies determined by a HUGE number of variables, not the least of which are innate, determined in one's genetic deal. What a surprise, given that nothing else Human is 100%, the idea that sexual attraction may vary between individuals seems elementary and not particularly worthy of emotional exercise in an 'unconcerned' Human. Why would any Human be 'concerned' with the sexuality of another Human with whom they have no contact or even awareness of their individual existence? Religious poisoning and suppressed self-knowledge of one's own REAL sexuality has been shown to cause such irrational anxiety and hostility in MANY 'straight' people and, certainly, not a few here. And the idea that G-d hates non-straight people is simply a symptom of Mankind's greatest disease and maker of misanthropy, organized Hypocrisy (see: religion). And the craziest idea of all is a G-d which HATES its own Creation. Awww children, why do we have such difficulty with what are the simplest things in Life, accepting that there are other Humans with conflicts beyond outside understanding who DO NOT DESERVE mindless condemnation. We condone mass murder but cannot accept two people in love. Maybe there IS mercy in a limited time in this place, Human Life, at least for those who pay attention. The most disappointing thing about being a Human is Humanity itself.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I see the exact same ridiculous arguments here that were made in the US in 2015 when same-sex marriage was legalised.

Those arguments were devoid of logic then, and they’re still devoid of logic now.

Atheists get married.

Couples who have no intention of having children get married.

Infertile couples get married.

Same-sex couple can and do have children.

Your personal view of gods and religion have nothing to do with anyone but yourself, and can’t be legally foisted on other people.

If you’re in favor of forcing others to obey your religious beliefs via the law that’s called a “theocracy.” Examples include Saudi Arabia and Iran. Maybe you’d be more comfortable living there.

There is nothing wrong with being gay. It’s perfectly normal.

Studies have shown that the children of same-sex parents are well-adjusted and there’s no discernible difference between same-sex and opposite-sex parents.

Sane sex couples should be able to get legally married because it’s the right thing to do.

And that’s that.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

So how long after marriage do a couple have to bear children? Should their marriage be annulled if they are incapable or they choose not to?

Thankfully that kind of small minded religiously intolerant thinking is a shrinking minority. That shrinking minority will get shriller and louder as it is replaced, but that’s always been the case.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

@HBJToday 07:10 pm JST

Marriage is designed and created by the spirit upstairs to be between a man a women, in holy matrimony. I don't care what anyone does in private. But marriage itself is between a man and a women.

@Michael Machida - Where to start with this one?!

Which specific 'spirit upstairs' are you referring to?

If 2 people who don't subscribe to your mythological spirit, or a whole country has a different belief system to you, is it OK for them/that country to define the terms of marriage or partnership however they want to? (For example Japan, and the 2 ladies featured in this article) How can you speak for a whole country. Just as you are inferring Mr. Machida has a mythological view is it ok to not respect his opinion. Communication goes both ways, your view is totally opposite of what he thinks who's right depends on the people who views match yours/his.

Can you provide any specific evidence or scientific reasoning regarding why 'marriage' must continue to be exclusively between a heterosexual man and a heterosexual woman - and that the whole world has to subscribe to this rule? Again this is his opinion and you are going "Whole World".

Is it the idea of same sex couples being together that bothers you so much, or just the use of the term 'marriage' to describe their lawful relationship? If examples of lawful 'partnerships' in the rest of the non-Christian world were instead translated to a new English word of 'marriaje', would this be enough to differentiate their situation from the word 'marriage' that seemingly holds so much importance? He specifically said he doesn't care what a person does in private and expressed his "OWN VIEW but you are only trying to prove your point. Its ok to agree to disagree but you are all over this post!!!

Now if you want my opinion this is what I think. Not what the WHOLE WORLD thinks.

1. Marriage exists to bring a man and a women together as husband and wife to be father and mother to any children their union produces.

2. Government can treat people equally and "RESPECT their liberty without defining marriage. (I THINK PERSONALLY THIS IS WHERE YOUR MIND SET IS) THIS DOES NOT INCLUDE A MARRIAGE WITH CHILDREN ITS A UNION!!!!!!

3. Redefining marriage would further distance marriage from the needs of children and deny the importance of mothers and fathers!!! Understand the words "redefining marriage" if any thing I would prefer the word UNION look up the definition it fits what to people who want to join and be with each other. If this is something new take on something new, don't change what has been around for years and try to make it fit the narrative!

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Marriage is designed and created by the spirit upstairs to be between a man a women, in holy matrimony.

Man, he sure let's a lot of us barren atheists get married without any spite.

Also, I did not get married in 'holy' anything. I went to city hall.

But all kidding aside, I respect your freedom to practice YOUR beliefs.

In that spirit, God made man, what makes you think he didn't make homosexuality? He sure as heck made people capable of getting pregnant without being married. Perhaps we humans are supposed to use the brains and hearts he gave us to work together to solve problems? Perhaps if those who can't have babies but want them and those who have them and can't support them both exist in the world, they can help each other?

5 ( +7 / -2 )

The LGBT community is NOT waiting and never did as far as I know, Legal or not they their love is UNSTOPABLE.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I'm genuinely interested to hear your reasoned responses to these questions.

There’ll be some kind of a response.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Like most of my fellow citizens, I voted to support same-sex marriage in Australia, and the sky is still where it always was and no spirits upstairs have descended to smite us from the face of the Earth.

Well done, Japan. Getting there slowly, but getting there.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

CONGRATULATIONS.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Marriage is designed and created by the spirit upstairs to be between a man a women, in holy matrimony.

You can see it in those spooky terms if you want, but that shouldn’t have anything to do with what marriage should be defined as in the real world.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Marriage is designed and created by the spirit upstairs to be between a man a women, in holy matrimony. I don't care what anyone does in private. But marriage itself is between a man and a women.

@Michael Machida - Where to start with this one?!

Which specific 'spirit upstairs' are you referring to?

If 2 people who don't subscribe to your mythological spirit, or a whole country has a different belief system to you, is it OK for them/that country to define the terms of marriage or partnership however they want to? (For example Japan, and the 2 ladies featured in this article)

Can you provide any specific evidence or scientific reasoning regarding why 'marriage' must continue to be exclusively between a heterosexual man and a heterosexual woman - and that the whole world has to subscribe to this rule?

Is it the idea of same sex couples being together that bothers you so much, or just the use of the term 'marriage' to describe their lawful relationship? If examples of lawful 'partnerships' in the rest of the non-Christian world were instead translated to a new English word of 'marriaje', would this be enough to differentiate their situation from the word 'marriage' that seemingly holds so much importance?

I'm genuinely interested to hear your reasoned responses to these questions.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Marriage has an age limit? I know plenty of people who remarried in their later years. They also don’t qualify?

Absolutely worthy of ridicule and derision.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

And by the way, two homosexuals will never be able to reproduce on their own, this is simply why it cannot be seen with the same intent.

My wife and I can’t have children. Should we not have married?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

@HBJ No, I didn't miss the point. My point is equality for all people regardless of sexual orientation (or gender, or race, or age etc.).

Marriage is designed and created by the spirit upstairs to be between a man a women, in holy matrimony. I don't care what anyone does in private. But marriage itself is between a man and a women.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

My opinion : marriage was design in view of creating a family and protect the result.

@Jonathan Prin - If marriage was designed, it was designed by humans in a time very different from today. Things change, people and societies evolve. We learn more from science and our understanding of the world changes. Designs change. All you are seeing now is humans redesigning the concept of marriage because we have more information now to know that humans are much more complex creatures than just man and woman attracted to one another.

Your PoV seems to be that evolution just stops at a time in the past, and we have to live with all the decisions our ancestors made with much less knowledge and much more ignorance than we have today.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

@Mr kipling, "They want to have babies? How are they going to manage that?" there are sperm banks, if there is not any in Japan i bet there will be soon, there are web sites in the UK that males offer sperm for sale or free of charge, I watched a program on UK TV all about it. This can bring up verious leagle issues like does the sperm donner actualy have any leagle right to the child, etc and for two men, there is Surrogacy mothers, the males donate sperm to a lady who gets pregnent and carries a baby for these men, in exchange for money or just because some woman like being pregnent. I would like to wish these two ladies all the very best of luck.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

It's interesting (for lack of a better term) to see that the same people who make fun of liberals for getting 'offended' get really up in arms about other people's private lives. The same ones who talk about individual responsibility somehow can't handle others pursuing individual happiness.

A lot of couples (heterosexual or otherwise) get married without the intention to reproduce. What are you going to do about it?

Anyway, as much as Japan has definitely a long way to go with other types of social progress, this ruling last week was great news.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

They want to have babies? How are they going to manage that?

Apparently you didn't get the memo, but there's a thing called "in vitro fertilisation" that has been available to humanity since 1978?

That, and adoption, and surrogacy.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Thus we have established that marriage no longer has anything to do with love or romance.

Marriage has just become a legal arrangement between two individuals to reap benefits from the State.

What, just now? Marriage has been a thing for thousands of years, and it was often marriage of convenience even from the earliest days. Arranged joining of multiple ruling families as just one example, and obtaining green cards as a more recent example.

I agree with your point that marriage is just a legal arrangement to reap benefits from governments, but if you're going to pretend that's just a recent occurrence and that it's only becoming an issue now that it involves same-sex couples, you might be just a tad disingenuous.

At this point, why not allow two brothers to get married?

Sure, why not? Someone else getting married doesn't impact me in any way.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Fantastic news - let's hope that it leads to legislation change. Hopefully Japan will put a quick end to what is a discriminatory and illogical provision in the Constitution.

I am also shocked that in this day and age there are still people who think that the ability to procreate and have children the old-fashioned way is a pre-requisite to marriage. I would love to know if the same people would say deny the rights of say a 60 year heterosexual couple (who are probably not capable of having a biological child) to get married? I suspect the answer is no

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Can IVF be done without the consent,knowledge,permission and authorisation of the donor?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It looks nice on paper.

But in everyday life ... a lot of water will flow under the bridge.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

My opinion : marriage was design in view of creating a family and protect the result.

Now, it is just "I want my rights !"

There has never been anything banning you going to a lawyer and get all documents done to get more or less same situation.

If marriage is not a family thing, then let any two or more people become married. But please, give me a word defining I got with my wife to get kids (or try too).

And by the way, two homosexuals will never be able to reproduce on their own, this is simply why it cannot be seen with the same intent.

So reading that 2 lesbians (here) wants to get married to get kids is opposite to what makes us so needed between us. Children are not products to buy.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

@chubawanga family can mean different things for different people. I’m liberal and an open minded person. Heck my best friend is a transgender woman. Maybe more than a friend but I’m not going to go into that here. Maybe it’s because of my Catholic and Episcopalian upbringing but I tend to associate the word “family” with children. But of course a family can be anything and I think it’s a step in the right direction if Japan finally legalized it. Everybody deserves to be happy, regardless of sexual orientation.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

What surprises me is that progressive people want to get married in the first place. How many of us will be rather happy to hear from the judge the following statement: marriage between any two or more individuals is forbidden since it is unconstitutional and violates basic human freedom rights.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

A number of ward offices do allow such couples to register as partners, but federal legislation is needed. Accommodation needs to be made so that these couples are able to jointly rent and own property, inherit property and pension and insurance policies, and keep custody of adopted children. In many cases, it's families who are the problem, because of the lack of legal protections and the inablility to register on koseki or jyuminhyo prevent them from doing so many trivial things this society requires.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

burning bush:

At this point, why not allow two brothers to get married?

We'll cross that bridge when a sister can marry her brother.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

What is a "total union of persons" and why can that not include same-sex couples who are "heart, mind, and body"

@girl_in_tokyo - 'total union of persons' is a lazy trope that gets used to imply that marriage can't be accepted without a male and female sexual relationship. Apparently 'total union' can only be achieved by people who have opposite bits, rather than the same bits. The idea often exists fairly close to comments such as 'why not just allow someone to marry their brother?', or 'what's next, allowing people to marry their dog?' etc.

Unfortunately, some people just feel threatened by things they don't understand.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

... and starting a family

? ? ?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

You missed the point once again. What I mean is, I do not understand how the same works between partners.

@Michael Machida - No, I didn't miss the point. My point is equality for all people regardless of sexual orientation (or gender, or race, or age etc.).

Your point seems to be that you 'don't understand how the same works between partners', which I believe refers to their sexual activity. Well, a person's sexual activity and preference has absolutely nothing to do with me, or you. Just because someone is straight, doesn't mean they should judge someone negatively who isn't.

Taboos, social expectations, and labels are all human constructs that gain weight the longer they are around. If anyone still questions the acceptability of non-straight people, it's time to have a look in the mirror and start asking why they themselves still think that way in this day and age.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Rolf AndersonToday 11:24 am JST

Legally every Japanese citizen already shares the rights and restrictions of state-sanctioned matrimony. Hence, same-sex marriages not being recognized is an act of equality, not a violation of Equal Protection.

No, restricting marraige to opposite-sex couples is discrimination based on sexual orientation. Recognizing same-sex marriage would give equal rights under the law to same-sex couples. The point is changing archaic laws to bring them in line with modern realities.

Also, genuine love seeks total union with a beloved, and then the question is, what is that going to look like? You have to have a total union of persons, which these two women will never have. According to reason, we can see that people are heart, mind, and body, so marriage is going to have to encompass all of those and that is a vision that points to the male-female model of marriage.

This is a word salad, and I can't heads or tails of what you mean. What is a "total union of persons" and why can that not include same-sex couples who are "heart, mind, and body" (by which I think you mean "hopelessly in love") and want to get married? Do clarify.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

KariHarukaToday 07:10 am JST

Two people of the same sex wishing to get married doesn't affect my marriage, nor does it affect anyone else's marriage.

This. Two same sex, adult people getting married doesn't affect marriage with my wife. It doesn't threaten our way of life, it doesn't threaten any values we have, or the country has, may have, etc.

Arguments against this always use the same cards over and over again.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Nice picture.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

There are indeed benefits for traditional couples. I went to the super sento yesterday with my girlfriend. It was "couples day" and there was a discount for couples. They approached us and gave us the special coupon. I wonder:

if businesses will do that for gay couples

if the government will force businesses to do that for gay couples

if I can go to such places with my buddy and just say we are a couple and get the discount
-1 ( +3 / -4 )

two college buddies who are both straight should be allowed to form a civil union and receive the same tax benefits right?

This is a reasonable question, because people should not get tax benefits simply for being married. Like spousal dependency, the mistaken assumption behind such benefits is that married people need help to raise kids. Many married people have zero kids.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Legally every Japanese citizen already shares the rights and restrictions of state-sanctioned matrimony. Hence, same-sex marriages not being recognized is an act of equality, not a violation of Equal Protection.

Also, genuine love seeks total union with a beloved, and then the question is, what is that going to look like? You have to have a total union of persons, which these two women will never have. According to reason, we can see that people are heart, mind, and body, so marriage is going to have to encompass all of those and that is a vision that points to the male-female model of marriage.

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

@hbj You know how all laws, benefits, and protections work for heterosexual people? It works exactly the same as that. Pretty easy to understand really.

You missed the point once again. What I mean is, I do not understand how the same works between partners.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Don't celebrate just yet. The oyaji in Tokyo will be able to appeal a district court ruling.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

My same sex partner and i have been together for over 10 years. We have no rush to marry. We love each other, and a piece of paper would be very useful for visas, but I would like to have a choice like any other couple.

i know a lesbian couple who have a child.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Thus we have established that marriage no longer has anything to do with love or romance.

Marriage has just become a legal arrangement between two individuals to reap benefits from the State.

No, you have stumbled upon the difference between 'marriage' and 'civil partnership' which jsapc kindly pointed out to you. Why do same sex couples want 'civil partnership'? Because the laws don't offer the same protections as 'marriage' is afforded.

At this point, why not allow two brothers to get married?

I wondered how long it'd take for this to get spouted.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

So even two college buddies who are both straight should be allowed to form a civil union and receive the same tax benefits right?

You expect this to happen a lot do you?

A significant percentage of humans are gay. They deserve the same legal rights.

Do you have any examples of 2 straight college buddies getting married?

How far will you go with your what ifs? Are you going to bring animals into it again? Alien life forms?

4 ( +11 / -7 )

One can question same sex marriages/relationships personally on their religious beliefs.

It is when ones take it upon themselves to force those beliefs on others.

To openly discriminate, be vocal, in casting prejudicial distinctions, so to encourage treatment that causes harm/hate must be deemed a bigoted act in law.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

At this point, why not allow two brothers to get married? -Burning Bush

Brother's are normally granted "next of kin" rights in most countries. This allows for low restricted hospital visits, dependency tax rebates, access to financial information, and in certain situations proxy rights. In the past, many homosexual couples adopted each other as a way to force the state to recognize these "next of kin"

rights.

As even today this still an option, I propose a question to everyone:

"Which option would let you sleep easier at night?

(1) A new legal framework where two adults are allowed to marry as equals who do all the same things mainstream couples do.

or

(2)The continuation of the current legal framework, where one adult is defined as the guardian (parent) of the other....and they do all the same things that mainstream couples do?"

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Irrelevant. Many couples don't get married specifically to procreate. And, couples who do procreate often don't marry.

Yes.

While I’m in favour of allowing gay law-abiding citizens the same rights as myself, I think the longer term trend will be marriage becoming irrelevant or even obsolete for gay and straight people.

Probably best all round.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Good luck to em!

Irrelevant. Many couples don't get married specifically to procreate. And, couples who do procreate often don't marry.

As things stand, Japan doesn't give its most valuable form of family support, spousal dependency under shakai hoken, to parents. Spousal dependency is worth way more than anyone gets in child benefit and is given it to married couples with a stably employed member. This should be abolished and replaced with vastly increased child benefit. Society should support children, not a salaryman's wife who may have no kids or kids who have grown up and left home.

If the debate about gay marriage gets serious and not just the dismissive "its unconstitutional" we have now, I guarantee giving spousal dependency to gay couples will be a issue. Spousal dependency is also really unfair in that if a woman works harder to support family, it gets taken away entirely.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

i dont call this a marriage sorry.

Fortunately I don't think that LGBT couples, or anybody for that matter, cares about what you call a marriage or not.

They want to have babies? How are they going to manage that?

Apparently you didn't get the memo, but there's a thing called "in vitro fertilisation" that has been available to humanity since 1978?

8 ( +15 / -7 )

They want to have babies? How are they going to manage that?

-10 ( +9 / -19 )

i dont call this a marriage sorry.

-13 ( +9 / -22 )

The ruling could set a precedent that influences other cases, but for same-sex marriage to be allowed, a new law needs to be put in place, which is likely to take some time.

and thankfully with never happen.

-10 ( +6 / -16 )

Thus we have established that marriage no longer has anything to do with love or romance.

No, you haven't. You have simply established that a "civil union" is not the same thin as a "marriage". Which is the exact argument some LGBT couples have been making for long time.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

The blatant discrimination against same sex marriages is because of religious beliefs. Such discrimination may be fine in the Islamic State or evangelical christian states, but THIS is Japan!

Freedom!

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

So even two college buddies who are both straight should be allowed to form a civil union and receive the same tax benefits right?

Sure, why not? That is the basis of what the French PACS is. And it's not exactly the same as a marriage.

But I don't think you're making the point you are trying to make with your arguments. Actually, you're not making any point at all.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

To answer to your question, yes, 

Thank you.

Thus we have established that marriage no longer has anything to do with love or romance.

Marriage has just become a legal arrangement between two individuals to reap benefits from the State.

At this point, why not allow two brothers to get married?

On what basis could their marriage application be denied?

-15 ( +6 / -21 )

So even two college buddies who are both straight should be allowed to form a civil union and receive the same tax benefits right?

Do you think every heterosexual marriage in the history of the world was done in the name of 'love'?

Do you think there should be some form of test to ascertain that all straight people getting married actually love each other?

To answer to your question, yes, 'even two college buddies who are both straight should be allowed to form a civil union and receive the same tax benefits'.

If a couple get drunk in Vegas and get married at an Elvis chapel, they'd get the same tax benefits right?

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Very happy for them - great to see how happy they look.

Japan is creeping slowly into the twenty first century.

5 ( +13 / -8 )

So even two college buddies who are both straight should be allowed to form a civil union and receive the same tax benefits right?

Yep. Got any example of straight college buddies doing this? Hmmm?

I guess when you have this example the first time you forgot to add that they were straight which made you argumentum ad absurdum a bit ineffective. LOL.

11 ( +16 / -5 )

Nobody should be denied the right to marriage.

Indeed. Make sure you are legally divorced from your room mate, and any joint assets split amicably before moving on to any future marriage though.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

I’m all for LGBT rights. But even if same sex marriage is legal here, it’s still pretty hard to start a family. The dynamics in the bedroom just don’t really work on a biological level and adoption is a long drawn out process that can also be quite costly and the other options are astronomically more.

What is your definition of a family? Is the aim of all married couples to have children?

9 ( +15 / -6 )

Many couples don't get married specifically to procreate. And, couples who do procreate often don't marry.

So even two college buddies who are both straight should be allowed to form a civil union and receive the same tax benefits right?

On what grounds would you deny their request?

-11 ( +8 / -19 )

I’m all for LGBT rights. But even if same sex marriage is legal here, it’s still pretty hard to start a family. The dynamics in the bedroom just don’t really work on a biological level and adoption is a long drawn out process that can also be quite costly and the other options are astronomically more.

Irrelevant. Many couples don't get married specifically to procreate. And, couples who do procreate often don't marry.

18 ( +27 / -9 )

I’m all for LGBT rights. But even if same sex marriage is legal here, it’s still pretty hard to start a family. The dynamics in the bedroom just don’t really work on a biological level and adoption is a long drawn out process that can also be quite costly and the other options are astronomically more.

-18 ( +6 / -24 )

As there is no legal definition of "love", any grouping of two people, including two college roommate buddies, should be granted the same privileges.

If two roommates fall in love and decide to get married, fine. Glad you have shifted from your deep reactionary opposition to any social progress to approving of consenting adults marrying.

7 ( +16 / -9 )

@Michael Machida - You know how all laws, benefits, and protections work for heterosexual people? It works exactly the same as that. Pretty easy to understand really.

9 ( +19 / -10 )

Jenny and Narumi, it’s too early to celebrate. The constitution of Japan defines marriage as between two sexes and should be maintained by husband and wife. A court ruling doesn’t change the supreme law.

4 ( +14 / -10 )

I still do not know how this works. Same.

-12 ( +9 / -21 )

Similar lawsuits about same sex marriage are going underway in different district courts whose verdict and judiciary opinions may split. The case is thus likely to go up to the high court.

I'd suggest making a civil code reform to assure the marital status for LGBT couples. To fight to the end over the constitutionality is rather tough and unpractical. At least it'd be very time-consuming.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

As there is no legal definition of "love", any grouping of two people, including two college roommate buddies, should be granted the same privileges.

Nobody should be denied the right to marriage.

-19 ( +20 / -39 )

It's time that Japan joined the other developed countries and recognise same sex marriage.

Two people of the same sex wishing to get married doesn't affect my marriage, nor does it affect anyone else's marriage.

21 ( +43 / -22 )

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