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Tying the knot: Thailand Senate approves same-sex marriage bill

Image courtesy of VOA

Thailand is set to become the first nation in Southeast Asia to legalise same-sex marriage following the Senate’s approval of a marriage equality bill today. This monumental milestone was passed with an overwhelming majority, with 130 senators in favour and only four against.

The bill now awaits the king’s endorsement before it can become law. Once approved, the law will come into effect 120 days after its publication in the Royal Gazette. This makes Thailand the third Asian region to embrace marriage equality, following Taiwan in 2019 and Nepal in 2023.

Founder of the Love Foundation, an NGO advocating for LGBTQ+ rights in Thailand, Panyaphon Phiphatkhunarnon celebrated the Senate’s decision, commemorating the bill for granting LGBTQ+ couples the same legal rights as heterosexual couples, including inheritance, adoption, and healthcare decision-making.

“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.”

LGBTQ+ movement supporters remain hopeful that the bill’s passing will inspire a domino effect in other nations, promoting global acceptance and equality.

Despite previous failed attempts to legalise same-sex marriage and constitutional rulings upholding traditional marriage definitions, the current political climate has shifted, with the bill garnering support from all major political parties, reinforcing Thailand’s image as a regionally progressive and inclusive society.

Marriage equality

Notably, the progressive Move Forward Party (MFP), which pledged to advance marriage equality, continued to influence the recent legislative push despite its struggles to form a government, regardless of winning the election last year.

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Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, who previously promised to fast-track the marriage equality bill, has been a vocal supporter of LGBTQ+ rights. Dressed in a rainbow shirt, the 62 year old Thai premier participated in Bangkok’s Pride Month celebrations, expressing his commitment to social equality.

PM Srettha’s administration is keen to position Thailand as a welcoming destination for LGBTQ+ individuals, including a bid to host World Pride in 2030, with the Bangkok-born leader declaring his commitment to passing the bill.

“We have come far in our journey towards social equality. I want to reaffirm my government’s commitment to pushing for the realization of the Equal Marriage Bill.”

With the Senate’s approval and the king’s endorsement imminent, Thailand stands on the brink of a significant advancement for LGBTQ+ rights, setting a precedent in Southeast Asia and reinforcing its commitment to equality and inclusivity, reported CNN.

Thailand News

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