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Japan court rules lack of same-sex unions at odds with constitution

Fourth ruling is step forward for LGBTQ community ahead of vote on anti-discrimination bill

Plaintiffs walk to Fukuoka District Court for a ruling in a lawsuit on same-sex marriage in Fukuoka, Japan, on June 8.   © Kyodo

TOKYO -- Japan's government is under renewed pressure to grant marriage rights to same-sex couples after a fourth court ruled that its failure to do so was at odds with the country's constitution.

The Thursday ruling by Fukuoka District Court in southern Japan delivered a boost to the LGBTQ community in the only G7 member state yet to legally recognize same-sex unions. In a case brought by three same-sex couples against the state, the judge found the current lack of marriage equality presents Japan with an "unconstitutional situation."

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