Japanese Buddhist temple welcome gay couples

Despite the country's restriction concerning gay marriages, the Shunkoil Temple has opened their door to gay couples who can be wedded there.

A Buddhist temple in Japan has announced that they will be offering lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender couples a place to have symbolic wedding ceremonies.

Though gay marriages are still illegal in the country, deputy head priest of the Skunkoil Temple, Reverend  Takafumi Kawakami, revealed that the temple allows everybody irrespective of their sexual preferences to wed and added that five homosexual couples have come to the temple in Kyoto since 2010 to symbolically tie the knot.

“I am not specializing the gay wedding here; I am just accepting every couple who would like to have their wedding ceremony here regardless of their faith and sexual orientation,” Reverend Takafumi said.

Defending homosexuals, Kawakami said that country’s restriction on various sexual orientations have a profound effect on LGBT people.  “Actually, most Japanese people don't know about the LGBT issues in Japan. They think that LGBTs are only in foreign countries. But not in Japan. Only few of them treat the LGBT issues as the human rights issues. So, I thought it is very important to make people think that the LGBT's rights are a very important topic to improve in this country. I thought that performing the same-sex wedding can make this issue more visible to everyone in Japan,” Kawakami said.

The Shunkoin Temple is also teaming up with Hotel Granvia Kyoto to offer special destination wedding packages for couples who would like to get married inside the temple.

“Japan is not recognized as a gay-friendly travel destination; and I believe that it is important for us to inform our guests that we are LGBT friendly hotel and they can feel welcome here” Shiho Ikeuchi, the hotel’s overseas marketing director said according to Huffington Post.

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