Kenji Aiba left the photo on January 28, 2019, and his partner Ken Kozumi laughed during an interview with The Associated Press in Tokyo. Kozumi and Aiba were holding a marriage certificate signed at their wedding in 2013, expecting Japan to imitate other advanced nations and legalize same-sex unions. This day is yet to come, and legally they are only friends, even though they have lived as a couple for more than five years. On Thursday, February 14, 2019, Valentine's Day, the couple joins a dozen other same-sex couples in Japan's first lawsuits, which question the constitutionality of the country's same-sex marriage rejection. (AP Photo / Toru Takahashi)
FILE – In this nude photo, participants pose on a car in front of the Tokyo Rainbow Pride parade on May 7, 2017 to celebrate the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community in Tokyo. Thirteen same-sex couples are suing Japan's first lawsuits against the constitutionality of the country's same-sex marriage's denial on Valentine's Day, February 14, 2019 in Tokyo. (AP Photo / Shizuo Kambayashi, file)
TOKYO – Thirteen same-sex couples are suing Japan's first lawsuits against the constitutionality of the country's same-sex marriage.
The Valentine's Day lawsuits, due to be filed on Thursday in Tokyo and other courts across the country, argue that the law violates the equal marriage couple. They want the government to follow the example of many other nations to ensure marital freedom.
Ten Japanese communities have issued "partnership" orders for same-sex couples, among other things, to make it easier for them to rent apartments together, but they are not legally binding.
Many LGBT people hide their sexuality and are prejudiced at home, at school or in the workplace.
The barriers are even worse for transgender people who face additional difficulties, including the requirement that they need to be sterilized to marry someone of the same birth line.