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Same-sex couples in Kumamoto City will be able to[email protected]$S7-4C7f^Ei81udPjZE0Ztao7)rj!l$rAL9ReDOvR 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 partnership certiGq1w^dNCfz#OGaTt7ni%a(yj%OmaCl&iI-Gts#5+%_REv8co%Bficates or oaths.

They offer limited rights such as public housing, hospital visitation rights, the right to make medical decisions for the paS7n+Wbx3Nug3N*xU6DBVugN#NOxBTD%K6uw^Jk6(AC^bWTOzB1rtner, 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.

AboutqsYf5!R_ERbG%m)8BaHqp*0N+(6hNv5dLyGhBrk)PbOBsgok7l 24 local governments have now opted to issue certificates to LGBT couples.

In July, Ibaraki Prefecture became the first entire prefecture to offer certificates&e%kYu^EYx^q#Wjvw%^O471DPitM-YPSCH458Rs#yOsNC19q$#. With a population of three million, Ibaraki Prefecture is also the largest municipality to recognize same-sex couples.

Conservative JaSvh)%pB_&vO^*$wl_%U$%[email protected]&)0C&aA=3emUcodpan does not allow same-sex marriage.

But, since 2016, local municipalities have been providing couples with limited recognition in government hospRVVPF_BaSy+^j^TZ$-nhvDznqarML2QY9(X72cTLwVBTrNojcZitals and housing.

Shibuya Ward and Toshima Ward both enacted R2St7)Y!$qr_7TE^2OwxmB-2qw4nnYih$kr#ylpQ&J%0x!NqmCordinances, which means they were voted through by the local government.

Sapporo became the firA39lZvkyydHVYjDseZrTDKgU#BGGF74LFWg#BQjK^YoHU%EjC=st city in the country to recognize same-sex relationships in 2017.

In the first five moX%pI&*[email protected]_gbV^$uOw6zS%NRX&Wgy!VuM+_+kKy3nths of 2019 alone, the number of local governments with a ‘partnership system’ has grown from 9 to 22, according to the Tokyo Review.

LGBTI research group Nijiiro Diversity has found 426 couplezm6m4*[email protected](A)o=Oay^+efcC-HI%!vJ*oQns acquired a partnership document as of 17 April this year.

But, considering tens of millions of people live across the municipalities offering the ce(!nE%mx)6TSxoo*G0&YHnL)KRbmtDPajYTquE_9#VQDb*p8=bGrtificates, 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 unionsRS&q=yhj(n3E4wUSYXW*YqJTzkM55gYGqwTmkBa0K0-!s&7SdD.

But, in recent months, there have been significant moves towards equal marriage in Japani&54lx%[email protected]&RHuUZ=x$iH#b_H%k7Y!Cq.

Twodzw*X$2uUl^1svy7sIK-=8^Z%iJ(26=aio!G&heR09QTQ4B8FV courts in 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 plaintiffs suing the government to recognize their same-sex relationships. Thtb01%e7hY0t9*jCRo7**c7BGfoKtD+&k0ItNjOmkLGez4TWC$Girteen 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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