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Same-sex couples in Kumamotoce%E_YVZ9GEe5x9)GDuxpyd(HS)a=(4m&miutjmN_p2%*sILK8 City will be able to move into public housing using the prefecture’s partnership certificates for LGBT people, local media has reported.

In April, Kumamoto joined a number of local governments in Japan in issuing same-sex rkIPZx3WX-CGjXgxfTgiqy%teIYXd7yVb#JSUwJueSmgSq1w41partnership certificates or oaths.

They offer limited rights such as public housing, hospital visitation rightAoXYT_AP*)sOI%a=sZtq#[email protected]$UanCXWnU3Ts, the right to make medical decisions for the partner, and special benefits given by employers.

Kumamoto City representatives this week confirmed same-sex couples would be able to move into municipal housing, according to Yomiuri Shimbun. The same-sex couples will be listed as “relatives” in the housing documentations.

About 24 local governments have now opted to issue certificates to[email protected]#v5FC_jyapT!FTd%^[email protected]@qGhivA(mK LGBT couples.

In July, Ibaraki Prefecture became the first entire prefecture to offer certificates. With a population of three million, Ibaraki Prefecture is al8TnCqMLncOqxBTJVvUt7g&Fk4%s1EYc4-IFHEzs*B*i-*nS#2hso the largest municipality to recognize same-sex couples.

Conservative Japan does not allow same-sex marr23cVsIXjR=DJA-Q=8H4o+#[email protected]#Nbiage.

But, since 2016, local municipalities have been providing couples with limited recognition in government hospitals and houf%v#T4*[email protected]=wp2JsezdRLHj)-+Cp3^b-F-NcnXDy&Y&#sing.

Shibuya Ward and Toshima WaZQXb-BNwp380OIDTciCMj4v97oK+XlOLp+lekQUokSi+UM7B3Mrd both enacted ordinances, which means they were voted through by the local government.

Sapporo became the first city in the country to recognize samDGfEy2XUs-+L_7jBUPt2Z#na0+)[email protected]&krU_A#5e-sex relationships in 2017.

In the first five months of 2019 alone, the number of local governme[email protected]+olqVmmmBUC9%KTP%c1156f03=N#g$(rxnts with a ‘partnership system’ has grown from 9 to 22, according to the Tokyo Review.

LGBTI research group Nijiiro Diversity has founM(%[email protected]%&pYczlX%dF(1Yd 426 couples acquired a partnership document as of 17 April this year.

But, considering tens9#NgIK8A_U^[email protected]_bY$079MdZpjGs of millions of people live across the municipalities offering the certificates, very few LGBTI couples have registered.

The national government in Tokyo has made no moves to implement a country-wide registration. Japan is the only country in the G7 not to recognize same-sex unionreVTXyyB%+($ei683%*S93BLb(Kj30M^9sTTiK#Iau7d#9#3!es.

But, in recent months, there have been significant moves towar8yduXbVY!oF-i-y*rb(3((y0Ay91V$BJ+i%eGuqdPf(KMQ(#WBds equal marriage in Japan.

Two courts in Japan in April hq6HV1#[email protected]=jo!o4ZSiVC6x7P6sDlEI_T0cr&!jeld initial hearings in landmark legal action against the government’s failure to recognize same-sex marriages.

Courts in Tokyo and Sapporo heard arguments from plaintiffs su7fAUP-uCj!oB#sFCr=(Ow0)LYSSU0MMF=B%7F)pjbsMZ8)f7_Xing the government to recognize their same-sex relationships. Thirteen same-sex couples in Japan filed lawsuits in four district courts against the government in February.

Holly, a butch bartender from Taipei, meets Mong Lian, a karate champion visiting from Singapore. It is love at first sight but the distance between Taiwan and Singapore soon becomes their biggest obstacle.
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