Thailand Might Be Southeast Asia’s First Country to Legalize Same-Sex Unions
Thailand is on its way to becoming the first Southeast Asian country to legalize same-sex union as the bill is now heading to the Thai parliament as it awaits legalization.
What the bill is about: Although the bill doesn’t outright endorse or allow same-sex marriage in Thailand, it would still give equal rights to the LGBTQ+ community, according to Bloomberg.
The bill was endorsed by the cabinet on Wednesday and ensures LGBTQ+ community members will have the same rights as married couples, Bangkok Post reported.
“This is an important step for Thailand in creating equality for everyone and guaranteeing rights for same-sex couples to start a family,” Rachada Dhnadirek, spokeswoman for the government, said.
If approved, those who apply for the same-sex union will be allowed to “adopt children, jointly manage assets and liabilities and inherit from their partners.”
Even though the bill does not yet grant partners access to their other half’s government pension, deputy director-general of Rights and Liberties Protection Department Kerdchoke Kasamwongjit said this could be allowed through an amendment at a later date.
“Once it reaches the parliament, we can be 100% certain that the bill will eventually become law,” Kerdchoke, who identifies as gay and has been working on the bill since its creation in 2012, said.
To apply for the same-sex union, one of the partners needs to be a Thai citizen as part of the requirement.
The same-sex union bill was endorsed in 2018, but it failed to pass the previous legislature, Reuters reported.
Positive news: Even though the name does not necessarily say “marriage,” some people in the LGBTQ+ community still view this as a huge step forward for equality in Thailand.
“What’s in a name? It’s the content that matters,” Kittinan Daramadhaj, president of Rainbow Sky Association of Thailand, told Reuters. “‘Civil partnership’ shouldn’t distract from the fact that it’s about the legal registration of unions.”
New York-based modeling agency Trans Models’ founder Peche Di, who hails from Thailand and is transgender, views the latest bill as a reason to become optimistic as “We’ve finally achieved our rights to marry who we love and want to start a family with,” she said via Forbes.
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