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Panasonic to Recognize Same-Sex Marriages in Company Policy


Panasonic plans on changing company policies in regards to same-sex marriage and discrimination.

Japanese electronic coporation Panasonic announced today that it plans to change the company rules to recognize same-sex marriages, despite the lack of recognition from Japan's government. The company is also reviewing a policy that bans discrimination based on sexuality.

Homosexuality has been legal in Japan for quite some time, however, same-sex couples and marriages do not qualify for the same legal protections and employment benefits as their heterosexual counterparts. Panasonic's action reflects the changing opinion on LGBT rights in Japan; even some major wards in Tokyo like Shibuya and Setagaya began issuing certificates to same-sex couples last November. Although the certificates do not legally recognize same-sex unions, they grant same-sex couples a number of benefits, such as hospital visits. Businesses are also urged to honor these certificates as if they were legal marriage licenses.

Although full details of the new policy Panasonic is reviewing haven't been decided on yet, if they are implemented they will come into effect in April.

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