The Latest: Gay couples sue for marital rights in Japan

TOKYO — The Latest on lawsuits challenging Japan's rejection of same-sex marriage (all times local):

11 a.m.

Thirteen couples have filed Japan's first lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the country's rejection of same-sex marriage.

Six couples holding banners saying "Marriage For All Japan" walked into Tokyo District Court on Thursday to file their cases on Valentine's Day. Three couples in Osaka, one couple in Nagoya and three couples in Sapporo also filed cases against the government.

Plaintiff Kenji Aiba, standing next to his partner Ken Kozumi, told reporters that he would "fight this war together with sexual minorities all around Japan."

The lawsuit argues that the law violates their constitutional right to equality. While Japanese law and many lawmakers lag behind, public acceptance of sexual diversity and same-sex marriage has grown in Japan.

The plaintiffs' lawyers think the cases could take as long as five years or more to be decided.

___

10 a.m.

Thirteen same-sex couples are filing Japan's first lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the country's rejection of same-sex marriage.

The Valentine Day lawsuits to be filed in Tokyo and in other courts around the country on Thursday argue that the law violates same-sex couples' constitutional rights to equality. They want the government to follow the example of many other nations in guaranteeing marital freedom.

Ten Japanese municipalities have enacted "partnership" ordinances for same-sex couples to make it easier for them to rent apartments together, among other things, but they are not legally binding.

Many LGBT people hide their sexuality, fearing prejudice at home, school or work.

The obstacles are worse for transgender people, who face extra difficulties including a requirement they be sterilized to marry someone of the same birth sex.

Related News

United passenger's removal sparks outrage in China

Apr 11, 2017

Images of a bloodied passenger being forcibly removed from a United Airlines flight drew widespread...

Climbing Mount Tai: 6,000 steps up China's sacred...

May 9, 2017

Taishan, or Mount Tai, is China's most sacred mountain

4 tons of garbage collected in China's Everest...

May 11, 2017

Chinese state media say volunteers have cleared four tons of garbage from the Chinese north side of...

China moves to expand DNA testing in Muslim region

May 16, 2017

A rights group and independent observers say China appears to be laying the groundwork for the mass...

China rappers to Seoul: 'Big brother' opposes...

May 17, 2017

A rap group backed by China's government is warning South Korea in a video that "you're going too...

China conducts demolitions at Tibetan Buddhist...

May 19, 2017

Chinese authorities in southwestern Sichuan province have evicted followers and razed scores of...