The tide of history may not be moving as fast for same-sex marriage in Japan as it is in the U.S. – but it is moving forward. Exhibit A is the recent nuptials of Ms. Koyushi Higashi and Hiroko. Ms. Higashi is a former actress turned gay rights activist who discovered that although Disney has allowed public same-sex weddings on its Tokyo grounds since 2007, a gay wedding had never actually taken place there. The happy couple celebrated by sharing their wedding with the world on Twitter, and were thrilled to get a largely positive response – no small achievement in a country where most gays remain in the closet for fear of being stigmatized by society. The only down side, of course, is that same-sex marriage is not yet legal in Japan. (It is legal, however, for Japanese nationals to marry same-sex foreign partners in countries where it is legal.) Hopefully, though, this pioneering couple will show the way forward!
“This could prompt Japan to question why it so often ignores or discriminates against minorities,” Hiroko said. “Mostly we just want people to know that gay people exist for real, and we would like to throw weddings like everyone else.”