Top Court Upholds Legal Protection for Same-Sex Partnership


Tokyo, March 18 (Jiji Press)--Japan’s Supreme Court has upheld a high court ruling that same-sex couples in de facto marriages should be entitled to the same legally protected benefits as those enjoyed by heterosexual couples in quasi-marriages.

In a judgment dated Wednesday, the top court’s Second Petty Bench finalized the ruling by lower courts that ordered the former partner of the plaintiff to pay 1.1 million yen in damages after the couple broke up due to the former partner’s infidelity. It rejected an appeal by the former partner.

Tokyo High Court ruled in March last year that both members of the same-sex couple should be given the same legal protection as in quasi-marriage relationships when it came to the Civil Code.

It is believed to be the first Supreme Court ruling to order damages on the basis of the recognition of same-sex couples as being in quasi-marriage relationships.

The Moka branch of Utsunomiya District Court said in September 2019 that it is difficult to say there is a necessity to limit marriage to between a man and a woman, and that there is a significant need to give a certain level of protection to same-sex couples.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press