Japanese lesbian couple granted refugee status in Canada


A Japanese lesbian couple has been granted refugee status in Canada after enduring discrimination in Japan.

Key points:

The details:

  • While Japan has local partnership systems for same-sex couples, it still doesn't have national marriage equality. LGBTQ+ rights advocates say social acceptance lags behind legal progress in Japan.

  • Hana and Eri said they faced workplace discrimination and social stigma in the country. The couple sought refugee status by submitting a 200-page document to Canada detailing their experiences with discrimination. They underwent a series of interviews and public hearings before their applications were approved.

  • In granting the request, Canada cited the U.N. Committee's report on widespread discrimination against women and sexual minorities in Japan.

  • The women, who now have permanent resident status in Canada, said they decided to share their experiences to raise awareness about the challenges of the LGBTQ+ community in Japan.


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