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When talking about same-sex relationships in modern Japanese (not Edo-era), are the same words used for husbands and wives as you'd use for opposite-sex relationships?

For example, can you use ご主人 to describe (politely) a man's husband, and 奥さん to describe (politely) a woman's wife? Or do Japanese speakers regard "a man's wife" and "a woman's wife" as different concepts best described with different words?

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日本は同性婚に馴染みがなさすぎて、ほんっとに分かりません・・・ググったけど、何にも見つからないし・・・ –  Chocolate Nov 9 '13 at 12:22
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I think that パートナー is a valid option, but I do not know if this term is common. It does not seem that there is a standard term, and I guess that it depends on how they want to be called. –  Tsuyoshi Ito Nov 9 '13 at 13:13
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参考まで・・youtube.com/watch?v=fD5mzDAkEGE –  Tokyo Nagoya Nov 9 '13 at 14:27
    
@andrew-grimm 同性婚といっても大抵の場合はどちらかが男役、どちらかが女役を演じているわけで、男役の方をご主人、女役の方を奥さんと呼ぶのは自然なこと。そういう役割が固定されてい‌​ないケースならパートナーとか相方とか連れとかケースバイケース。 –  jovanni Nov 10 '13 at 9:22
    
もっとも、古典では、夫も妻もどちらも「つま」なので、もともとあまり区別はなかったのかも... –  jovanni Nov 10 '13 at 9:40
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up vote 7 down vote accepted

When I was in college I had a Japanese professor who was also a lesbian. She referred to her SO as パートナー, and other teachers referred to that professor's SO as パートナー. It's possible that this choice of words was because it was most familiar to us as American students, but I feel that in Japan as well this would be the safest, most 'PC' way to address someone's SO. If I were to ask her about her SO I'd say パートナーさん.

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