Law that is just must begin by properly recognizing and distinguishing identities and differences in reality in order to be able to give each its legal due. In that regard, the question of marriage is not about a civil right at all. No, this debate is about whether the law that now defines marriage is itself good or bad, right or wrong. But this cannot be a proper legal matter until the empirical case has been made that a homosexual partnership and a marriage are indistinguishable. But Ai Nakajima, one of the plaintiffs named in the lawsuit, is hopeful that the legal landscape could change. Some municipalities across Japan have started to issue "partnership certificates" to gay and lesbian couples, the Times says. But this is entirely inappropriate for making the case for same-sex "marriage.
But, of course, since legal declarations cannot turn reality into something it cannot become, a variety of conundrums, contradictions, and anomalies will inevitably arise.
Same-Sex Couples Sue For The Right To Marry In Japan
Civil rights protections function simply to assure every citizen equal treatment under the law depending on what the material dispute in law is all about. It is a version of an appeal for the protection of free speech, and in this case it is a demand that the speech of particular persons carry the authority to define the structure of reality without regard to the basis of past legal judgments. No, this debate is about whether the law that now defines marriage is itself good or bad, right or wrong. The law of contract does not define ahead of time what might be contracted; it simply clarifies the legal obligations of the contracting parties and the consequences if the contract is broken. Governments and lawyers and the law do not create the people, the house, the paint, and my desire to paint your house for a price that you want to pay. Article 24 of the Japanese constitution states that "Marriage shall be based only on the mutual consent of both sexes and it shall be maintained through mutual cooperation with the equal rights of husband and wife as a basis. If, that is, anyone is interested in crafting the law to do justice to reality.
Shibuya Ward in Tokyo became the first local government in Japan to recognize same-sex partnerships. But that reading ignores other parts of the constitution that guarantee equality, lawyers for the couples say. Marriage law has long been a state matter, and in the United States that has meant, literally, a state rather than a federal matter. Governments and lawyers and the law do not create the people, the house, the paint, and my desire to paint your house for a price that you want to pay. Some municipalities across Japan have started to issue "partnership certificates" to gay and lesbian couples, the Times says. The question behind marriage, in other words, is a structural one that precedes lawmaking.