Thailand Legalises Same Sèx Marriage

Thailand will become the first nation in Southeast Asia to legalize same-sex marriage after the kingdom's Senate approved a marriage equality bill on Tuesday, with supporters calling it a “monumental step forward for LGBTQ+ rights.

The Senate voted overwhelmingly in favor of passing the bill following a final reading, with 130 senators voting in favor. Only four members opposed the bill.

The bill still requires endorsement from the king before marriage equality can become reality in Thailand, but this process is considered a formality. The law will then come into effect 120 days after it is published in the royal gazette.

The result of the vote means that Thailand will become only the third place in Asia to allow for marriage equality after Taiwan legalized same-sex marriage in 2019 and Nepal in 2023.
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“The bill represents a monumental step forward for LGBTQ+ rights in Thailand,” Panyaphon Phiphatkhunarnon, founder of Love Foundation – an NGO campaigning for LGBTQ+ equality in Thailand – told CNN.

“The potential impact of this bill is immense. It would not only change the lives of countless couples but also contribute to a more just and equitable society for all.”

The bill grants LGBTQ+ couples the same legal rights and recognition as heterosexual couples, including rights related to inheritance, adoption and health care decision-making.

“Beyond the legal implications, the passage of this bill would send a powerful message of acceptance and inclusion,” Panyaphon said.

“It would inspire the younger generation to come out and live their lives authentically, it would showcase Thailand as a progressive and inclusive country – attracting tourists and businesses … and will foster a culture change where LGBTQ+ individuals feel accepted and supported.”

Bangkok residents Pokpong Jitjaiyai and Watit Benjamonkolchai say they plan to get married as soon as the law is passed.

“When I was young, people said people like us couldn't have a family, can't have children, so marriage was impossible,” Pokpong told CNN. “Over 10 years ago, we could not live together the way we are now. We could never be our true selves, the way it is now… and now I can freely say that I am gay.”

Pokpong said he hopes the marriage equality bill will start a “domino effect” in other countries.

“I want the people around the world see how love is. Love is love,” he said.

The marriage equality bill was supported by all the major parties and marks a significant step in cementing the country's reputation as one of the friendliest in the region toward gay, lesbian and transgender people.

Last updated on July 16th, 2024 at 12:08 am

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