Thailand Becomes First ASEAN Nation to Recognize Same-Sex Marriage

Thailand Becomes First ASEAN Nation to Recognize Same-Sex Marriage

With the Senate voting decisively in favor of a bill that will make the kingdom the first country in Southeast Asia to recognize marriage equality, Thailand’s same-sex marriage bill cleared its last political hurdle on Tuesday.

After receiving a majority vote in favor of the bill in the Senate, it will now proceed to the royal assent process and other formalities, which could take up to four months, before it becomes law.

At that point, Thailand will only be the third Asian country to legalize gay marriage, following Taiwan and Nepal.

Following years of advocacy, LGBTQ activists have achieved a significant victory with the passage of the marriage equality measure in both parliamentary chambers. This is because the nation’s civil union statute has not kept pace with its liberal societal values.

The new law gives same-sex couples rights over inheritance, hospital consent, property management, and adoption that were previously denied to them. It also defines marriage in gender-neutral terms rather than just referring to “men” and “women.”

According to Mookdapa Yangyuenpradorn, a Human Rights Associate at Fortify Rights, “Thailand’s new marriage equality law is a triumph for justice and human rights.”

“The journey to this point has been long and fraught with challenges, but today’s vote to ensure marriage equality marks a historic moment that deserves celebration.”

According to some activists, the law does not go far enough in recognizing the legal status of non-binary and transgender people, who are still unable to legally change their names on identification documents.

In an area where LGBTQ rights are either nonexistent or very limited, Thailand is predicted to see a surge in tourism and economic growth as a result of its acceptance of same-sex unions and its staging of activities during Pride month in June.

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The Pheu Thai party, which controls the government of Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, has declared its support for same-sex marriages, therefore the law’s passing has also had a political benefit at home.

After the electorally victorious Move Forward Party was kept out of power, the government formed a coalition with hardline conservatives to take office. The youth-focused MFP has supported liberal objectives like the transfer of political power and same-sex unions.

The first person to congratulate the law’s passing was MFP leader Pita Limjareonrat, who wrote on X that it is the “first step towards gender equality in Thai society.”


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