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Same-sex couples in Kumamoto City will be able to move into public housin@[email protected]#pg#&-NtKnL8M5PxJ=nBg 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 partnership certificates or o[email protected]+B2$TpLQr21yS8jkM=QzS+RNLCJE1HPu#TTSwjrxaths.

They o9V$phu8s1c9PYb%JzE8Finya9bMtKk_Pv!EA$!8l1rGXiYswE9ffer limited rights such as public housing, hospital visitation rights, 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&+XCdq9Rj=uKiKj0)WM#G*[email protected]&iNv)N+RHT-zz2i6a-U LGBT couples.

In July, Ibaraki Prefecture becameJY%[email protected]=qkS4+lnHP+hmvy4+5b1eO4pd8Cs0_$N^lmmDd^b#!I the first entire prefecture to offer certificates. With a population of three million, Ibaraki Prefecture is also the largest municipality to recognize same-sex couples.

Conservative Japan does not allo[email protected]$r3EPqD4$#&gL2^Is1UGXw7yiRw same-sex marriage.

But, since 2016, local municipalities have been providing couples with limited recognition in government 7y%#[email protected]^bxH(mml7-jhospitals and housing.

Shibuya Ward and Toshima WardAO+LGVr$-lyUeX3rnASt+*N#sW1&2PYey3BZUf^(w8mKAKzdmh both enacted ordinances, which means they were voted through by the local government.

Sapporo became the m9iGFKDdr)gdUZqRMAWh_jCEevDrfYx#oy&1XAnWVSSK+U=g&_first city in the country to recognize same-sex relationships in 2017.

In the first five months of 2019 alone, the number of locBLvVhl*CEE=t%3KMn3470vYDM2WiGdt)Geg4G8Iv^gv1t!UWk6al governments with a ‘partnership system’ has grown from 9 to 22, according to the Tokyo Review.

LGBTI resears5&&LDFkcd855$zJanKihc3cs#[email protected]&XdFdLELaEWch group Nijiiro Diversity has found 426 couples acquired a partnership document as of 17 April this year.

But, considering tens of millions of people live acr[email protected]=zm)[email protected]&K9UTUwP06O^(%HWkcQoVQoss the municipalities offering the certificates, very few LGBTI couples have registered.

The national government in Tokyo has made no moves to implementG([email protected]^vq*vm&N&_a_Iw-MOg-Cz#h&yBtubIVVYnCfZYdPa+6X a country-wide registration. Japan is the only country in the G7 not to recognize same-sex unions.

But, in recent months, there have been significant moves towards equal marrV1p!Ki2Der7Be5Xf2OFe=$A9_qs7=6Hxcy_zCx16Jaa7VNRqeZiage in Japan.

Two courts i)(R7^[email protected]$MtZR_e5KvP&7kT-PD_6wc*FJeM)2vXLn Japan in April held initial hearings in landmark legal action against the government’s failure to recognize same-sex marriages.

Courts in Tokyo and Sapporo heard arguments from plainezV_0hHW9Z7iUuYBQ5#Bb&T1$W3ttOHbBXZq4c48IXCc7dLuWPtiffs suing 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.

"Drinking Buddies" invites LGBTQ members of different sexes and gender identities as well as LGBT allies to play "Drunk Bingo X Truth or Dare" with the rules: "answer the question or take a shot of vodka." The show aims to showcase the true definition of love and the diverse relationships among the rainbow families. Love will not change simply because of one's sexual orientation or gender identity.

Watch Drinking Buddies Season 2 now on GagaOOLala.

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