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Japanese TV shopping channel operator to recognize gay marriage

Japanese TV shopping channel operator to recognize gay marriage

Oak Lawn Marketing will extend monetary benefits and vacation leave to gay employees who receive official recognition of their same-sex marriage, treating them equally to heterosexual couples.

By doing so, the Shop Japan TV shopping channel operator, whose president and chief executive hails from the US, is joining an increasing number of businesses – mainly foreign-owned enterprises – which recognize same-sex partnerships while providing benefits.

‘Employees with a diverse range of nationalities, cultures and backgrounds have come together at Oak Lawn Marketing,’ said the Nagoya-based company affiliated with telecom giant NTT Docomo in a statement on Wednesday.

‘[The company] is promoting diversity to make it possible for each and every employee to demonstrate their abilities and shine to the maximum extent rather than demarcating people by gender or race.’

An employee marrying a partner and getting certified under municipal ordinances or other comparable measures will be provided with ¥10,000 to ¥30,000 ($80 to $241) in congratulatory money depending on his or her tenure, together with six days of leave. Condolence money will also be provided when the partner dies, according to Kyodo news agency.

The Constitution says marriage is ‘based only on the mutual consent of both sexes,’ but Tokyo’s Shibuya and Setagaya wards are both planning to issue certificates recognizing same-sex partnerships from this fall.

In response to Shibuya’s move, Lush Japan now recognizes an employee’s partner as a spouse and provides congratulatory money, child care leave and nursing care leave if the partnership is reported to the company, regardless of the partner’s sex.

‘At Lush, we believe in love,’ the cosmetics maker said.