More and more nations around the world are legalizing same-sex marriage, but even in 2019, there are plenty of countries that discriminate against the LGBTQ community. While countries like Australia, Germany, Austria, and Brazil have all passed laws legalizing the marriages of same-sex couples, unfortunately for same-sex couples in Japan, marriage is not yet an option. But couple Mayu Otaki and Misato Kawasaki are working to change that.
The couple, who began dating in late 2017, plan to travel to countries in Europe, Africa, North and South America from March through September, where they will say their "I Do's" 26 times, Japanese outlet The Asahi Shimbun reports. During their travels, they also plan to interview other Japanese same-sex couples about their opinions on Japan's same-sex wedding ban.
“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 The Asahi Shimbun.
The idea for the project was sparked when Otaki, 22, wanted to ask her girlfriend, Kawasaki, "Will you marry me?", but had to change her question to, “Will you stay with me forever?” due to Japan's laws. Fed up with their inability to wed legally, Otaki suggested the two go on a six-month marriage tour.
The couple have set up a crowdfunding page to fund the project—they estimate it will cost around $16,500 each. The couple has already reached a third of their goal, and are hoping that their work will encourage a change in legislation in Japanese wedding rights.