News (World)

Thailand moves one step closer to marriage equality

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Only two Asian countries recognize same-sex marriages, but Thailand will be the next to give citizens marriage equality. The government cabinet recently approved a bill that would legalize same-sex weddings.

Later this week, Parliament will start to debate the legislation.

The amendment to the Civil and Commercial Code will change the words “men and women” and “husband and wife” to “individuals” and “marriage partners.” The next step will be an amendment to the country’s pension fund law to recognize same-sex couples.

Thailand has struggled with marriage equality legislation over the past few years. While it’s known as one of the most LGBTQ+-friendly countries, lawmakers have not moved beyond debate. The new government campaigned on the issue, promising to revive the effort and get the legislation passed.

Marriage equality became a prominent issue in the recent election. Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin campaigned in favor of it, and at a news conference earlier this week, Srettha asserted the change would give LGBTQ+ couples the “exact same equal rights” as heterosexual couples.

The bill will need to be debated multiple times before it can pass. After passage, it will go to King Maha Vajiralongkorn for consent before becoming law.

Thai citizens also broadly support marriage equality and the government’s pressure to legalize it. Sixty percent support it, while 32 percent oppose it.

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