Back in February, I wrote about how the municipal government of Shibuya was considering creating non legally-binding certificates stating that a same-sex couple was in a relationship “equivalent to marriage”, a measure designed to eliminate discrimination against same sex couples who wished to live together, visit each other in the hospital, and so on.
Well today, that ordinance has passed, becoming an important victory for sexual minorities across Japan who just wish to live a happy life without discriminatory legal barriers.
I of course, am ecstatic over the decision, and I feel that Japan presently has massive potential for progress. Especially with the 2020 Tokyo Olympics coming up, the government of Japan is bound to start cleaning up its act regarding not only discrimination against sexual minorities, but also its sexism, the abuse of workers through “black companies”, and other poor practices. The government has even created a committee to assess how Japan can improve its treatment of LGBT individuals to avoid the same controversy that Russia faced during the Sochi Olympics.
I’m hoping for a lot of great news to come out of Japan over the next few years, and I hope that many same-sex couples in Japan will be able to look back on this day as one that raised the bar for equality in Japan.
The Japan Times “Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward adopts ordinance to recognize same-sex unions”
Huffington Post (日本語）「渋谷区、同性パートナー条例、区議会本会議で可決・成立」