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Thailand to become the first southeast Asian country to legalize same-sex marriage



On Tuesday, June 18, 2024, Thailand’s Senate passed a marriage equality bill that allows the country to recognize same-sex marriage, potentially making them the first southeast country in the Asian jurisdiction to allow same-sex marriage.

This move has been labeled “a monumental step forward” by LGBTQ advocates.

The bill which was approved by 130 votes in favour of same sex marriage, from the 152 members in attendance, will be sent to King Maha Vajiralongkorn for assent.

It will come into force if accepted, 120 days after it is published in the royal gazette.

According to Al Jazeera, the bill grants LGBTQ couples the inheritance and adoption rights equal to those of heterosexual marriages, and changes references such as men, women, husbands and wives to gender neutral terms.

Politicians as well as some activists were seen celebrating in the National Assembly, waving rainbow flags and jubilating in solidarity with the rainbow community.

In 2020, the court recommended that the law on marriage in Thailand be expanded to accommodate minority rights of citizens. Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has been vocal about his support for the LGBTQ community.

A member of a parliamentary committee on same sex marriage, Plaiah Kyoka Shodladd in response to the legislation said “We are very proud to make history… Today, love triumphed over prejudice after fighting for more than 20 years. Today, we can say that this country has marriage equality”.

Thailand is known for its LGBTQ culture and tolerance, and this is only a step further in the country’s active engagement in ensuring that minority rights are respected.



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