Mixed messages: What the Tokyo Court’s same-sex marriage ruling really means

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Earlier this week, the Tokyo District Court handed down a mixed ruling, saying that banning same-sex marriage is in a “state of violating” the Constitution, but is still in line with the supreme law.

Does that mean it is constitutional, or not?

In short, it’s constitutional. But the presiding judge empathized with the plaintiffs, saying that although it’s technically and legally constitutional, what same-sex couples who want to get married are facing is not right, and that parliament should take steps to rectify the situation. Hence the “unconstitutional state” reference.

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