Japanese opposition parties submit bill to legalize same-sex marriage

Two opposition parties in Japan have submitted a bill to the Diet to legalize same-sex marriage.

The Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan and the Social Democratic Party submitted the legislation to the Lower House on Monday.

The bill calls for revising article 739 of the Civil Code to state that a marriage becomes effective by notification by opposite-sex or same-sex partners according to the provisions of the Family Register Act.

In 2019, the same revision was proposed by a group of three opposition parties. But the legislation was scrapped due to the dissolution of the lower chamber of the Diet.

Last month, Prime Minister Kishida Fumio dismissed a top aide for making discriminatory remarks about same-sex couples. This has prompted sexual minorities to call for promoting public understanding and establishing their rights.

A Lower House lawmaker from the Constitutional Democratic Party, Okawara Masako, told reporters that people around the world see gender as a human right that should not be violated by anyone. She urged Kishida to exert leadership at the upcoming G7 summit in Hiroshima by sending a message that Japan shares this value.