Last Update 21:41
Sunday, 21 July 2019

Gay parade held in Japan amid calls for same-sex marriage

AFP , Sunday 26 Apr 2015
Views: 1013
Views: 1013

Some 3,000 people marched in a gay pride parade in Tokyo on Sunday as calls grow for Japan to legalise same-sex marriage after a lesbian couple held a symbolic wedding ceremony.

The crowd, mainly from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community as well as their supporters and sex workers, paraded through the capital's entertainment and shopping district of Shibuya.

Waving rainbow-coloured flags and banners, foreign and Japanese campaigners marched in colourful carnival and kimono-clad "geisha" outfits.

The annual parade came a week after a lesbian couple tied the knot in front of some 80 relatives and friends in Shibuya, although their marriage is not legally recognised.

The Shibuya district council voted earlier this year to issue "partnership" certificates to gay couples, the first such recognition of same-sex unions in Japan. Other municipalities are now considering doing the same.

The certificate will carry only symbolic significance, since the Japanese constitution identifies marriage as a union based on mutual consent of the parties from "both sexes".

"We simply want to be with a loved one," said Fumino Sugiyama, 33, one of the parade organisers. "But (the law) denies our idea. We are frustrated and don't know what to do."

While Japan is largely tolerant of homosexuality, there is no specific legal protection for gay people. They complain that they may be prevented from visiting sick loved ones in hospitals or refused a tenancy because their relationship is not recognised.

Short link:


Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.

© 2010 Ahram Online.