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Japan OK's Foreign
Marriages for Gay Citizens

Japan OK's Foreign
Marriages for Gay Citizens

The Japanese government will recognize the marriages of nationals who legally marry their same-sex partners outside the country.

The Japanese government will recognize the marriages of nationals who legally marry their same-sex partners outside the country.

According to Agence France-Presse, the Japanese justice ministry told local authorities to issue certification to those who want to enter same-sex marriages in foreign countries.

The island nation does not issue domestic marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and has not previously let LGB nationals sponsor their foreign-born partners for citizenship.

A similar law, introduced in February by U.S. representative Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat, is making its way through Congress. The Uniting American Families Act would allow gay Americans to sponsor their foreign-born partners to become citizens. Gays cannot currently sponsor their partners for citizenship because, in the eyes of the federal government, same-sex partners cannot be considered spouses. The proposed legislation would require binational same-sex couples to prove that they intend lifelong commitment to one another as permanent partners, that they are financially interdependent, that they are currently unmarried to anyone else, that they are unrelated to each other, and that they are unable to "contract with that person a marriage cognizable under the Immigration and Nationality Act," according to the original bill. The bill would also change terminology to define those couples as "permanent partners" instead of "spouses."

Japan was one of the nations that supported a recent U.N. document calling for the international decriminalization of homosexuality.

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