Japan Introduces New Civil Marriage Law for Same-Sex Couples

Tokyo on Monday introduced a set of new policies for same-sex couples to obtain married or civil marriage.

The “Prisoners of Conscience” bill introduced a new measure, “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning rights under Children’s Rights Law,” according to Masayuki Sugawara, the Senior Minsiter for Gender Equality and Family Planning at the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW).

The “Prisoners of Conscience” bill, a child-centered bill that would see children inherit such rights, had been passed by the lower house of the parliament on December 18. However, it had fallen through the upper house, citing lack of consensus. The bill is expected to gain momentum as the two chambers come together in the January.

Speaking on the new bill, Sugawara noted that its expansion could help families.

“By extending the rights of legal recognition to gender non-conforming citizens, same-sex couples can contribute to society.”

Same-sex marriage in Japan is forbidden, except in “exceptional circumstances” if married couples adopt a child.

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