Although same-sex couples in Japan can’t legally wed, they can now have symbolic ceremonies at a Zen Buddhist temple in Kyoto. The Shunkoin Temple is the county’s first to host same-sex nuptials, CNN reports.
That the temple’s website includes this statement: “Shunkoin Temple is against any forms of ‘Human Rights Violations’ in the world. No religion teaches how to hate others. Religion teaches how to love and respect others.”
The Human Rights Campaign’s Stances of Faiths on LGBT Issues: Buddhism document notes, “Zen Buddhism does not make a distinction between same-sex and opposite-sex relationships. Instead, the expectation is not to harm, exploit or manipulate others.”
Many LGBT people in Japan remain closeted, CNN reports. “Japan still has no LGBT protection laws,” said LGBT activist Maki Muraki. “Lawmakers aren’t even talking about it.”
Earlier this year, the The Japan Times reported on the results of a poll about LGBT people and issues; 52 percent of the Japanese adults surveyed expressed opposition to marriage equality.
Watch the CNN video below.