2015年2月12日木曜日

Shibuya-ku in Japan proposes a bill about issuing the same-sex couple license 同性カップルに“結婚相当”証明書、渋谷区が条例案

Shibuya-ku in Tokyo is going to submit a bill about issuing the same-sex partnership license next month. It's a first kind in Japan, though it's still different from the marriage license per se.(今回の投稿は、渋谷区が同性カップルに結婚相当の証明書を発行する条例案を提出するというニュースを英語で発信してます。日本語の元記事はこちら。)

The same-sex marriage hasn't been legalized in Japan, nor has it been much discussed in the public or political space. Yet Shibuya-ku (one of the most progressive local government entities in Japan) has made the first step to get closer to the same-sex marriage in this country.

 "To make sure that sexual minorities will be respected in our society, Shibuya-ku will issue the same-sex partnership license," Ward Mayor Toshitake Kuwabara announced.
 
 The ward (Shibuya-ku) has learned about same-sex couples whose apartment applications were rejected because they're not "family" and found it a serious problem. That's why, the ward has discussed the issue since last July.

 As a result, Shibuya-ku decided to propose a bill to issue the "Partnership License" which acknowledges same-sex couples as an equivalent to married ones next month.

  The ward states that this new system is fundamentally different from marriage itself. However, it's the first case that the local government in Japan issues such license verifying same-sex couples as (official) partners.

* * *

 I found this news interesting and thought that it's a very Japanese way to pave the road toward the same-sex marriage.

In the U.S. and elsewhere in the West, for example, the process of legalizing the same-sex marriage is a fight to win that right as people did in The American Revolutionary War and the French Revolutionary Wars. In contrast, such a right and freedom is often "provided" from the top (i.e., a government) to the public in Japan when the time matures.

 The Japanese government is less likely to be the first to adopt novel ideas, but it's pretty liberal and quickly accept them once new changes prevail in more progressive countries and such waves reach the own shore.

 That's good and there's nothing wrong about having a different process to social, cultural and political changes, but I still think that LGBT people in Japan could speak up a bit more . . . (or I may be biased because I'm living in the States and hear more rants here rather than there in Japan.)

P.S. Here is an interview video asking a lesbian couple and a gay couple about what they think about this news.

P.P.S. (2/15/2015) Ward Mayor of Setagaya-ku in Tokyo also announced that his ward is also working on a measure to address the same-sex partnership. His announcement is directly influenced by the Japan's first (if the bill is passed) same-sex partnership measure in Shibuya-ku.

P.P.P.S. (2/17/2015) A Japanese gay lawyer and another transgender lawyer comment on this new bill in this article (though it's in Japanese).

Image courtesy of GQ: http://gqjapan.jp/more/business/20130416/lgbtmarriage

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メインブログ:アメリカ・ゲイ・ライフ American Gay Life (since 2004)
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単身渡米してなんとか生き延びてる日本人。主にアメリカで起きてるゲイについてのニュースやハリウッド・セレブ、スポーツ選手たちのゴシップが中心のブログをメインブログで書いてます。恋バナや個人的なことはサブ・ブログで。

 Born and raised in Japan, I decided to immigrate to the U.S. to pursue a more liberated gay life. I am mostly writing about gay-related news and gossip about male celebrities, LGBT issues in general, and sometimes personal bromance. Most of my posts are in Japanese, but I sometimes introduce Japanese television programs and gay-related cultural stuff in English. Feel free to leave comments in my blog. ;)