As a long-awaited step in a nation lacking marriage equality, Tokyo on Tuesday started awarding partnership certificates to same-sex couples who reside and work in the city.
With the use of the certificates, LGBTQ partners can now access a variety of public services, including housing, healthcare, and welfare, like married couples.
Although the status does not confer the same legal rights as marriage, it is still a welcome development for couples who previously lacked official documentation of their relationship.
There have been at least 137 applications, and many people are hopeful that the certificates, which apply to commuters as well as residents, may aid in the fight against anti-LGBTQ discrimination in Japan.
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