Photo/Illutration Plaintiffs hold up signs outside the Fukuoka District Court on June 8 urging the government to pass laws to legalize same-sex marriage. (Kengo Hiyoshi)

FUKUOKA--In the last of five lawsuits filed around the nation, a district court here ruled on June 8 that a legal system that did not recognize same-sex marriage was in a “state of unconstitutionality.”

The Fukuoka District Court issued its ruling in the lawsuit brought by six plaintiffs in Kyushu. All five lawsuits were initiated by same-sex couples. 

The Fukuoka court rejected the plaintiffs' compensation request but said the failure to pass marriage and family laws for same-sex couples created a situation that violated paragraph 2 of the Constitution’s Article 24.

The article states, “With regard to choice of spouse, property rights, inheritance, choice of domicile, divorce and other matters pertaining to marriage and the family, laws shall be enacted from the standpoint of individual dignity and the essential equality of the sexes.”

Two district courts have ruled the denial of same-sex marriages as being unconstitutional, while another ruled that the lack of laws was in a state of unconstitutionality. One district court said the current laws were constitutional.

All five district courts rejected the plaintiffs’ compensation claims.

The plaintiffs in the Fukuoka case argued that the Civil Law and Family Register Law that does not recognize same-sex marriage violates constitutional guarantees of freedom of marriage and equality under the law.

They also contend the central government’s failure to pass laws to legalize same-sex marriage deviated from the legislative branch’s discretionary authority.

The government argued that the Constitution only recognizes marriages of opposite sexes.