More than 275,000 people have signed a petition demanding marriage equality in Thailand, one of the few countries in Asia that boasts being a warm safe haven for the LGBTQ plus community.
Driving the news: The petition came in response to a Nov. 17 ruling by the Thai Constitutional Court, which determined that Section 1448 of the Civil and Commercial Code — the law defining marriage as between a man and a woman — does not violate the nation’s constitution.
- The 12-page ruling was the outcome of a hearing initiated at the request of the Central Juvenile and Family Court, which received a petition from a same-sex couple whose request for a marriage registration was rejected on the basis of Section 1448, according to the Bangkok Post.
- The ruling upheld that marriage is for“when a man and a woman are willing to live together, to build a husband and wife relationship to reproduce their offspring, under the morals, traditions, religion and the laws of each society,” according to Thai PBS.
- Still, the Constitutional Court urged parliament, the cabinet and other government organizations to draft laws that ensure the equal protection of rights of all people, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.
Love does not discriminate. To us,denying people the right to marry just because they are of the same sex equals denying someone one of their most basic rights. The world is changing;and it’s time for us to move forward and embrace that change 💍🏳️🌈 #สมรสเท่าเทียม pic.twitter.com/y0QVeYkm0j
— jy 🥀 (@jaoyinggx) November 17, 2021
Fighting back: Proponents of LGBTQ plus rights have since accused the ruling of being homophobic, sexist and dehumanizing, especially for its parts that likened LGBTQ plus people to animals with strange features or behaviors.
- “If science discovers more details that some animal species exhibit strange biological behaviors or characteristics, they will be grouped separately for further study,” the judges wrote, according to Qnews.
- “When prejudiced feelings or beliefs move into the realm of behavior, the result is discrimination, which denies to individuals or groups of people equality of treatment,” human rights lawyer Busayapa Srispompong tweeted, according to Thai PBS. “#TheConstitutionalCourtIsSexist is clear evidence of ‘institutionalized discrimination.’”
- Human rights activist Guts Thorngrop Rodsavas told Pink News: “In the ruling, there [are] a lot of homophobic tropes and transphobic arguments. I feel like, coming from the court, this could make conservatives who hold these points of view think that their views are legitimate.”
- A petition for a bill that would make way for marriage equality has garnered over 275,000 signatures as of this writing. At least 10,000 signatures are needed to advance the bill to parliament.
Featured Image via Bangkok Post