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Thailand nears landmark decision to legalise same-sex marriage

Thailand nears landmark decision to legalise same-sex marriage

Image source: © canva
Weronika Paliczka,
27.03.2024 14:15

Thailand is poised to become the first country in Southeast Asia to legalise same-sex marriage. The House of Representatives passed a bill with an overwhelming majority, and it now awaits Senate approval. If passed, it would be a significant milestone for LGBTQ+ rights in the region.

It is still illegal and even considered a crime in many countries to have same-sex unions. This creates significant problems for LGBT couples who wish to be legally recognised as married. Only two countries in Asia, Taiwan and Israel, have legalised same-sex unions.

Thailand to legalise same-sex marriage?

In 2004, an attempt was made to legalise same-sex marriage in Cambodia, but no legislative procedure was launched despite the support of King Norodom Sihanouk. Currently, Thailand is working intensively to legalise same-sex marriage. The Thai House of Representatives passed a bill allowing same-sex marriage by a majority vote of 400 in favour and ten against.

The bill will now go to the Senate for approval. If the senators support same-sex marriage, the legislation will only need Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn's final approval. The new bill defines marriage as "a partnership between two people, not between a man and a woman". It aims to give LGBT couples equal rights to tax savings, the ability to inherit property, and the right to decide on their partner's medical treatment. Additionally, the bill is to permit same-sex couples to adopt children.

Thailand takes another step towards equality

"The amendment of this law is for all Thai people. It is the starting point for creating equality. We understand that this law is not a universal cure to every problem, but at least it’s the first step toward equality in Thai society," Danuphorn Punnakanta, a lawmaker who chairs the lower house’s committee on marriage equality, told Parliament, as reported by the New York Times.

"This is the greatest victory," said Nada Chaiyajit, a law lecturer at Mae Fah Luang University in Chiang Rai. "We have been working hard with the committee. This is not only about L.G.B.T.I.Q.; this is about everyone. Equality."

Source: The New York Times

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