Thailand moves closer to legalising gay marriage

A committee will now examine four bills to see if they should move on.


Words: Alastair James; pictures: Pexels

Thailand is moving closer to legalising same-sex marriage after lawmakers passed four bills in their first readings which would allow for gay marriages. 

The four texts approved on Wednesday (15 June) would grant LGBTQ couples the same rights as non-LGBTQ couples.

Campaigners say while Thailand seems like a tolerant country for LGBTQ people the country's laws have not kept up with changing attitudes. 

Reuters reports that two of the four bills focus on same-sex civil partnerships while another one focused on changing gendered language in existing laws to allow anyone to get married.

A committee will examine the bills and decide whether to send any on for further readings before possibly going to the Thai senate and then getting royal approval.

Chumaporn "Waddao" Taengkliang, from the Rainbow Coalition for Marriage Equality, called Wednesday's news "a very good sign".

"There should be the same standard for all genders, whether it's a civil union or marriage," they added.

However, some LGBTQ activists argue that separate laws aren't needed and existing ones should be amended. 

Last year, the country's Constitutional Court recommended the country's laws on marriage be expanded after it ruled that the current law, which only recognises heterosexual couples, was constitutional.

So far in Asia, only Taiwan has legalised same-sex unions.

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