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Thailand to pass the same sex marriage bill

Same sex marriage pattaya one MArch 27 2024

In a historic move, the House of Representatives passed a bill advocating for marriage equality in its last reading, propelling the nation closer to becoming the third country in Asia to legalize same-sex unions.

Before the bill officially becomes law, it must receive approval from the Senate and royal endorsement. The legislation garnered support from major political parties and saw overwhelming approval in the House, with 400 out of 415 lawmakers voting in favor, while 10 opposed it.

Danuphorn Punnakanta, a Pheu Thai list-MP who also chairs the parliamentary committee overseeing the draft bill, emphasized the importance of reducing societal disparities and promoting equality among all Thai citizens. He urged fellow lawmakers to make history by supporting the bill which aims to grant same-sex couples the same legal rights and privileges enjoyed by heterosexual married couples.

If the bill progresses as anticipated, same-sex couples would be entitled to a range of benefits, including government-provided healthcare, tax advantages, decision-making rights for medical treatments, estate management and inheritance rights, child adoption rights, and rights to arrange the funeral proceedings of their partners.

The Senate is slated to deliberate on the bill on April 1, 2, and 9, coinciding with the current parliamentary session’s culmination. Subsequently, a Senate committee will review the bill during the parliamentary recess and present it for a final vote before the imminent installment of new senators.

While the term of the existing 250 appointed senators concludes on May 11, they will continue their duties until the inauguration of the new 200-member Senate, which will be indirectly elected.

This groundbreaking legislation signifies a significant stride towards solidifying Thailand’s stance as one of Asia’s most progressive societies concerning lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights, blending contemporary and open attitudes with traditional Buddhist values.

Once the bill secures royal endorsement, it could go into effect within 120 days. Thailand would trail Taiwan and Nepal as the first Asian regions to sanction same-sex unions.

The process of formulating this law has spanned over a decade, marked by political upheavals and disagreements regarding the bill’s scope and provisions. Following a Constitutional Court ruling in 2020 endorsing the constitutional status of the current marriage law, which only recognizes heterosexual unions, the legislative journey towards inclusive marriage rights for all genders gained momentum.

In December, Parliament greenlighted four distinct draft bills concerning same-sex marriage during the initial reading, assigning a committee to merge them into a unified draft. These bills aim to amend 68 sections of the Civil and Commercial Code to redefine terms ensuring gender equality and diversity.


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