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Image: Japanese PM Fumio Kishida(representative picture); Image source:

Forbidding same sex marriage not unconstitutional, advocates PM Kishida

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Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is currently finding himself under heavy pressure and public scrutiny for his recent comments on Japan’s existent ban on same sex marriage, and his recent statement this Wednesday ( December 1, 2023) that was the latest addition to the series of comments, has once again earned him the mass ire.

The statement made, was according to some a backtracking of sorts from his earlier openly aggressive stance that was of the notion that Japan’s constitutional freedom of marriage, is only in regards to heterosexual unions. Kishida, despite being heavily scrutinized and subjected to harsh criticism, did not openly acknowledge his mistreatment and was vague regarding the issue, even after his public apology and extended meetings and discussions with the LGBTQ community.

It is to be highlighted for people not well versed in Japanese state politics that Kishida’s governing Liberal Democratic Party, is known for its conservative family values and reluctance to promote gender equality and sexual diversity. Making them the primary opposition to Japan’s legalisation of same-sex marriage, and other measures of equality for LGBTQ people.

When an opposition lawmaker asked Kishida at Tuesday’s parliamentary budget committee meeting whether forbidding same sex marriage is selective discrimination from the state, Kishida replied “I don’t think disallowing same-sex couples to marry is unjust discrimination by the state.”

His comment sparked criticism from opposition lawmakers and LGBTQ activists who were displeased, wondering if Kishida was backpedaling to curry favours with the party’s ultra-conservatives, the main publicly opposing faction to sexual diversity and even other norms like gender equality.

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