Sapporo High Court Rules Provisions of Civil Code Not Recognizing Same-Sex Marriage ‘Unconstitutional’; Three Same-Sex Couples File Lawsuit

Jiji Press
Plaintiffs and others hold up signs in Chuo Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido, after the Sapporo High Court ruling.

SAPPORO – The Sapporo High Court ruled Thursday that the provisions of the Civil Code and other laws that do not recognize same-sex marriage are unconstitutional as they contradict the Constitution, which secures freedom of marriage and equality under the law.

The court, however, dismissed the plaintiff’s demand for ¥1 million per person from the government for damages. Three same-sex couples residing in Hokkaido filed the suit.

There have been six similar lawsuits throughout Japan, and this is the first ruling by a high court.