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Lesbian Couple Calling for Same-Sex Marriage in Japan to Get Married 26 Times Around the World

We live in a hypocritical, confusing society where we raise children to believe that people who love each other get married, but when they become adults, tell them that marriage is only a right for people of different biological sexes. One lesbian couple in Japan, where gay marriage is not recognized, is pushing back against this bigotry by planning to marry 26 times across the world in nations where same-sex marriage is legal. Their hope is to call attention to the nation’s policies and amplify a conversation about LGBTQ rights.


“I want to show through our wedding photos that being lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) is normal so that those who are troubled by their sexual status can harbor hope,” Misato Kawasaki, 21, told Japanese outlet The Asahi Shimbun.

Photo of Misato Kawasaki and Mayu Otaki on their crowdfunding page. Caption translated by Google.
Photo of Misato Kawasaki and Mayu Otaki on their crowdfunding page. Caption translated by Google.
Screenshot: Faavo/Misato Kawasaki

Kawasaki wanted to ask her girlfriend, Mayu Otaki, 22, to marry her, but instead said: “Will you stay with me forever?”, as Japan does not recognize same-sex marriage.

Otaki then suggested the “26-time marriage” project, a six-month tour through parts of Europe, Africa, North and South America between March and September where they will wed 26 times and interview local Japanese same-sex couples and officials about their rights and cultural attitudes in the area.

The two university students are seeking funds to cover costs for the trip. Upon their return, the outlet notes, they will share their findings and hope to create a company that offers wedding services for the LGBTQ community. Bon voyage to the two love birds!

Prachi Gupta is a senior reporter at Jezebel.

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Hal Shipman

One thing they need to keep in mind is that to legally marry in each of the 26 countries is not actually possible. For example, Canada’s marriage license application form has a qualifying question on it, “Are you married in another jurisdiction?” Answering “Yes” was an automatic denial of the marriage license (marrying a close relative and being already married to another person were also disqualifiers).

California has the same question. So, when folks got married in California once it became legal there, after having already done so in Canada, they were charged with a crime for having lied on the form.

The most high-profile one I saw was Armisted Maupin. I believe that all of those were dismissed, but a thing folks should make sure to avoid.  So, have a ceremony, interview folks, etc, but don’t actually sign any documents that would come back to bite you.