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Thailand’s marriage equality bill gets closer to reality

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Thailand is considered relatively progressive when it comes to LGBTQ+ rights. It has outlawed discrimination and censorship based on sexuality.
thailand marriage equality bill

Thailand’s lower house has voted overwhelmingly in favour of marriage equality laws.

The legislation will now be considered in the Senate (upper house) before final approval from the King of Thailand.

If it passes, Thailand will become the first South East Asian country where partners of any gender have equal marriage rights.

The Thai Government said a recent national survey found nearly 97% of the country supports the idea of same-sex marriage.

Thailand

Thailand is considered relatively progressive when it comes to LGBTQ+ rights. It has outlawed discrimination and censorship based on sexuality.

Since coming to office last year, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has expressed support for legalising same-sex marriage.

Thavisin’s Pheu Thai Party introduced marriage equality laws to parliament in December.

Marriage equality

Under the proposal, Thailand’s legal definition of marriage would be updated to recognise partnerships between two people, rather than a man and a woman.

LGBTQ+ couples in Thailand cannot currently adopt a child together. However, the reforms would give same-sex parents equal adoption rights.

The laws also include other reforms, such as as granting the partner of a seriously ill person the right to make decisions about medical treatments on their behalf.

400 MPs voted in favour of the draft bill on Wednesday. Ten voted against it, while five MPs abstained (didn’t vote).

Prime Minister Thavisin said the result reflected the pride of Thai people “to walk together towards a society of equality, respect, and diversity”.

Next steps

The draft legislation has now moved to the Senate, where it’s expected to be approved.

The King of Thailand will need to give the proposal his final approval before the legislation can become law.

Taiwan and Nepal are the only jurisdictions in Asia where same-sex marriage is legal.

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