Thailand legislature passes landmark invoice legalizing same-sex marriage | EUROtoday

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Thailand’s Senate voted Tuesday to move a marriage-equality invoice, placing the nation on monitor to turn into the primary in Southeast Asia to legalize same-sex marriage.

The laws, which handed with 130 senators in favor, 4 opposed and 18 abstaining, permits any two folks, no matter gender, to get engaged or married. It was accepted by the House of Representatives in March and now should be endorsed by the king. Once it’s printed within the official journal of the Thai authorities, the legislation will go into impact after 120 days.

“We celebrate the successful passing of the marriage equality bill and we celebrate the beginning of equal love,” Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin wrote on X on Tuesday. “ ‘Diversity’ is not ‘difference.’ May every love be beautiful and powerful.”

The laws will make Thailand among the many first in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage, based on Human Rights Watch.

Thailand has been “recognized as a place where sexual and gender minorities can live safely and openly,” Human Rights Watch stated in a 2021 report, whereas noting that it gives few authorized protections to transgender folks. The advocacy group stated after Tuesday’s vote that the laws’s passage would supply “tangible legal protections” to LGBTQ+ folks.

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“It will stand as an example of LGBT rights progress across the Asia-Pacific region and the world,” they wrote.

Three dozen nations legalized same-sex marriage earlier than Thailand, based on the Human Rights Campaign, an LGBTQ civil rights group. Taiwan turned the primary in Asia to take action in 2019. In Nepal, some same-sex marriages have begun to realize recognition underneath an interim order from the nation’s prime courtroom. A last judgment continues to be within the works.

John Sifton, the Asia advocacy director for Human Rights Watch, stated governments in some elements of Southeast Asia have handed legal guidelines focusing on LGTBQ folks.

“What’s happening in Thailand is an outlier,” he stated, including that transgender folks nonetheless face discrimination within the nation.

A 2023 Pew Research Center survey discovered that 60 p.c of adults in Thailand supported legalizing same-sex marriage. Thavisin, the prime minister, has emphasised that the Thai authorities is dedicated to marriage equality and touted Bangkok’s Pride parade this month.

“We will also continue our fight for social rights for all people regardless of their status,” he wrote on X.

The laws that handed Tuesday additionally swaps out phrases like husband and spouse in Thai marriage legislation for gender-neutral language, equivalent to partner. One member of the Senate fought towards that change. Retired military Gen. Worapong Sa-nganet stated reducing these phrases can be “a destruction of the family establishment in the most violent way.”

He added, “If there’s no term ‘husband’ or ‘wife’ in the law, it would disappear from the Thai language. That would affect the family establishment, how we define gender and the structure of society.”

But activist Plaifah Kyoka Shodladd, 18, who was a member of the particular committee set as much as contemplate the invoice, stated on the Senate flooring that Tuesday was a historic step for Thai society and for future generations.

“We can now proudly say Thailand has equal marriage,” Shodladd stated after the vote. “The definition of a family will change forever.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/06/18/thailand-legalizes-same-sex-marriage/