Marriage Equality

Thailand Poised to Become First Southeast Asian Country to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage

Main image to the post Thailand Poised to Become First Southeast Asian Country to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage

Thailand's lower house of Parliament has overwhelmingly approved a marriage equality bill, making the country poised to become the first in Southeast Asia to legalize equal rights for marriage partners of any gender. The bill passed with the support of 400 out of 415 members present, marking a significant step towards legalizing same-sex marriage in Thailand.

Despite Thailand's reputation for acceptance and inclusivity, the LGBTQ+ community has faced discrimination and struggled for decades to pass a marriage equality law. The conservative nature of Thai society and government agencies has hindered progress on this issue. However, the new government led by Pheu Thai has prioritized marriage equality, and the bill's approval in the lower house is a testament to their commitment.

The bill now proceeds to the Senate, which rarely rejects legislation passed by the lower house. If approved by the Senate, it will then be sent to the king for royal endorsement. This would make Thailand the first country in Southeast Asia and the third in Asia, after Taiwan and Nepal, to legalize same-sex marriage.

The bill amends the Civil and Commercial Code to replace the terms "men and women" and "husband and wife" with "individuals" and "marriage partners." This change would grant LGBTQ+ couples full legal, financial, and medical rights.

While the bill's approval is a historic moment for Thailand and the LGBTQ+ community, activists have expressed disappointment that the word "parent" was not included alongside "father and mother" in the law. This omission limits the parental rights of LGBTQ+ couples.

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May 21, 2023 | 05:09