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2 Sep 2019

Thailand May Become First in Southeast Asia to Allow Same-Sex Unions

Bloomberg has reported on the development of same-sex unions in Thailand.

Whilst the ruling coalition and opposition lawmakers don’t agree on much, within both camps there’s growing support for legalising same-sex unions.

Seven years of work has yielded a draft bill that is near the final stage of approval in parliament. If passed, Thailand would be the first in Southeast Asia to allow such unions, and the second in Asia after Taiwan, which legalised them in May.

The law in Thailand wouldn’t go as far as endorsing marriage yet would allow same-sex couples to jointly manage assets and liabilities, and to inherit from their partners.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle basically agree on the principles behind the legislation though opposition members have criticised it for not going as far as marriage equality. Proponents say it’s a step in the right direction in a region that’s behind in recognising and guaranteeing rights of the gay, lesbian and transgender community.

The bill -- approved by the Cabinet late last year ahead of March’s general election -- is back in the spotlight as the new parliament is in full session. One difference this time is that there’s a group of elected, openly-LGBT representatives in the parliament for the first time in the history of Thailand’s eight-decade-old legislature.

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Reader's Comments

1. 2019-09-03 02:28  
I agree with the opposition members; same-sex unions aren't going far enough. This bill is meant to pacify the people that wants same-sex marriages but may will only inflame them as the limitations on unions will soon be obvious. I hope the LGBT representatives in parliament will stand strong and work toward a better solution. I wish them all the luck.
2. 2019-09-03 18:38  
Parliamentarians are answerable to their constituents and party leaders. With Thailand being such a conservative society, I would not hold your breath. We can hope - but we should also be realistic. How many will be inflamed if the bill does not pass? Compared to the 69 million in the country, not very many.

What the Bloomberg article does not mention is that the Justice Department is holding public consultations on the issue. Further, it has stated very clearly that it will not rush the issue. As another article points out, "critics say the Bill would reduce the ‘value’ and ‘values’ of marriage in Thailand."It will not be as easy a ride as suggested by that Bloomberg article.

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