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Gay couples seek marriage rights in Valentine's lawsuit

17 Comments
By Kyoko Hasegawa

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© 2019 AFP

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legalizing gay marriage isn't going to suddenly make people more accepting of gays. look what's happened in america.

Yes it is, look what's happened in Canada.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

If they want to get married let them who cares what year are we living in Japan...

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Good luck to them.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Well duh! Marriage is a particular institution that is naturally incompatible with homosexuality. If it were otherwise it would have become normalized thousands of years ago.

Well, duh!! It WAS normalized thousands of years ago - until Christianity came along. You need to study history before you shoot your mouth off about something you obviously know nothing about.

And since when has loving someone enough to want to spend the rest of your lives with them - and to have that union publicly and legally recognised - been an exclusively heterosexual situation? There are a raft of laws and rights that apply ONLY to legally married couples; why should people in a loving and committed homosexual relationship that is legally accepted be denied those rights because one Pope back in the 6th Century decided he didn't like homosexuals?

I am legally married to a Japanese national and we very much want to move to Japan to look after his elderly mother who has no other family but us, but I will need to find a sponsor because we can't apply for a spousal visa. How is that fair or just? Try walking a mile in my shoes before you make your bold - and frankly regressive - comments about whether or not I should be allowed the same rights as any other legal citizen.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

The certificate confers some rights: when Oe was hospitalized last year and needed a family member's signature, Ogawa was able to sign.

But not all gay couples in Japan live in areas with such certificates, meaning they can be prevented from visiting loved ones in hospitals or refused tenancy because their relationship is not legally recognized.

I'm straight but this sucks.

Only one partner in a same-sex couple is considered the legal parent of any children they share because gay marriages are not recognized so joint custody is considered impossible. And a foreigner in a same-sex relationship with a Japanese partner cannot apply for spousal visas like their counterparts in heterosexual marriages.

This sucks too.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

But as Japan industrialized and modernized from the late 19th century, Western prejudices against homosexuality were increasingly adopted.

No. no, no, let's get this right! It's not "western" prejudices it's USA prejudices that were forced on to Japan following WWII. Prior to the occupation and throughout a greater part of Japanese history sex and anything related to it were more open and accepted. Hell prostitution was legal, and regulated. It was the Judeo-Christian prudes that forced changes which became accepted by society here!

19th century thinking in the 21st century.

It's middle 20th century thinking from the US forced onto Japan!

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Well duh! Marriage is a particular institution that is naturally incompatible with homosexuality. If it were otherwise it would have become normalized thousands of years ago.

Wow, one paragraph with so many fallacies to point out.

First, the discussion of marriage being had here is not the traditional definition of marriage, it's the legal definition of marriage. So your timeline of 'thousands of years ago' is conflating the legal and traditional meanings of marriage. Whether or not gay marriage is legal is not something that would have had relevance until that time at which marriage became a legal issue.

And let's look at that claim - homosexuals living together has been a part of history all over the world. In some places it was not accepted, but in others it was - including Japan where you can even see ukiyo-e with homosexual imagery.

And finally, your assertion that marriage is incompatible with homosexuality is clearly belied by the fact that countries like Canada, which has had legal gay marriage for over 15 years, are functioning just fine, and hellfire and damnation have not reigned down on them for daring to legally recognize two people who love each other and happen to share a common genitalia.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

19th century thinking in the 21st century.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Lost on many will be the statistic that 80% of those Japanese surveyed, ages 20-59, support legalizing gay marriage.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

 ...legalizing gay marriage isn't going to suddenly make people more accepting of gays...

This is true. However, the point of having legal marital status is not a point of social acceptance (though once something is legal rather than illegal people tend to shift toward greater tolerance).

The status of a legitimized spouse includes a number of rights that non-married partners do not have. A spouse can act on behalf of an incapacitated partner, is automatically entitled to pension benefits. and cannot be denied access during an illness or the right to make decisions about attendance at funeral services when the partner dies. Any shared property or children or pets remain in the care and control of the widowed partner.

In the case of the two women in the photo, after 25 years together, if one of them should die the other would stand to lose everything. It's quite possible that in addition to the sorrow of losing a faithful and beloved partner, she would end up homeless and impoverished when there is absolutely NO reason for such discrimination.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

“The certificate” ??? -something not identified in the article. WHAT CERTIFICATE???!!!

There is no certificate. However some municipalities have set up systems where same-sex couples can have their unions certified within the municipality and are given a certificate of proof.

In my opinion, and depending upon the municipality, it's a discriminatory practice in and of itself as some force the couples to get their "registration" notarized as "proof" of their "love", yet heterosexual couples do not need to go through the same process.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japan isn't held back by religion, it shouldn't be a major problem here. The only thing is that lot of Japanese don't realise gay people exist... and their sons, daughter or friends are part of the community. Make it easier for gay people to come out. Once people realise LGBTQ+ are just people like you and me, the world will be a little bit better :) and yes, please, let gay people get married...or any equivalent of marriage if you don't want "to lose the meaning of marriage"...

1 ( +3 / -2 )

“The certificate” ??? -something not identified in the article. WHAT CERTIFICATE???!!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I am legally married to a Japanese national and we very much want to move to Japan to look after his elderly mother who has no other family but us, but I will need to find a sponsor because we can't apply for a spousal visa. How is that fair or just? Try walking a mile in my shoes before you make your bold - and frankly regressive - comments about whether or not I should be allowed the same rights as any other legal citizen.

So sorry for you. People don't understand that being in a same-sex couple means, yes, substantially less money, just because of the sex of your partner (tax cuts, company benefits, health care)...

but also bigger problems than money, like visa ! just being able to live together. I don't understand how some people can be so aggressive against giving you the right to benefit from a spouse visa to live with your husband/wife... people are so narrow minded ! that's crazy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yes it is, look what's happened in Canada

So you actually believe that Canadians who were antigay marriage before it was legalized suddenly welcomed it? That's hogwash. Most Christians will never change their minds about this subject.

Ms. Ogawa was trying to say that if she had been legally married at the funeral then suddenly her parent's friends would not have asked questions or would have been accepting of her lesbian relationship . That's BS. Those people who acted like arseholes still would've stuck their nose up at the arrangement. Making something legal doesn't necessarily make it acceptable to all of society. That's my point.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

"We were told that they cannot accept our registration because we are both women," 

Well duh! Marriage is a particular institution that is naturally incompatible with homosexuality. If it were otherwise it would have become normalized thousands of years ago.

Instead of attempting to change marriage laws narrowly to fit just their needs, they and everyone else for that matter, should be seeking to change civil law to accommodate the needs of any two or more people that require legal protections and privileges that would cover issues such as hospital visitation and inheritance and other related matters. Otherwise just privatize the concept of marriage altogether.

The idea that “marriage equality” achieves equality is a huge lie. How about equality for two men that have a relationship with one women who have all been living together for 20 years? What about two widows who live together and whose husbands died when then were relatively young? About a mother and daughter who live together and have a relationship but are not allowed to marry? They are a number of different kinds of adult relationships other than homosexuality that are discriminated against also. Yet advocates of marriage equality aren’t willing to support their cause. And while we are overturning norms why can’t a 14 year old boy marry a 30 year old woman? isn’t that arbitrary age discrimination?

Making something legal doesn't necessarily make it acceptable to all of society. That's my point.

Yes but it does aid in normalizing it - and that is what they are looking to accomplish. Then in turn it will be used as a cudgel against those who have moral, religious, or social objections to homosexual marriage in order to force them into conformity.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Ogawa said many relatives quizzed her on who Oe was.

She explained: "I was tired, sad, and in such an extreme situation it was agonizing to explain that we are a lesbian couple, that we are the same as a regular heterosexual couple."

wait, you don't need a marriage certificate to explain to your parents and their friends that you are a lesbian with a girlfriend. this has notihng to do with the main issue here. and legalizing gay marriage isn't going to suddenly make people more accepting of gays. look what's happened in america.

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

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