The Nagoya District Court on Tuesday ruled that not allowing same-sex marriage was unconstitutional, a large symbolic step toward marriage equality in the only Group of Seven nation with no legal protection for same-sex unions.

But the court, ruling on a lawsuit filed by a male couple in their 30s who reside in Aichi Prefecture, rejected their demand that the state pay each man ¥1 million in compensation for the current legal system not allowing them to marry.

The latest ruling, the fourth among five similar lawsuits, follows the Sapporo District Court's landmark verdict in March 2021 that said the country's Civil Code and family registration law, which do not acknowledge same-sex marriage, violate the Constitution's guarantee of equality before the law.