Thailand’s Landmark Marriage Equality Bill Passes: Equal Rights for All Spouses

Thailands Landmark Marriage Equality Bill

BANGKOK: Thailand’s lower house of parliament overwhelmingly passed a landmark marriage equality bill on Wednesday, recognizing marriage relationships between people of any gender identity, including gay marriage. With this bill becoming law, Thailand will become the first country in Southeast Asia to legally recognize the equal rights of spouses of any gender identity.

Of the 415 members present in the House of Representatives, 400 voted in favor of the bill, while 10 voted against it. Five members abstained or did not participate in the vote.

The bill amends the Civil and Commercial Code, replacing the words “men” and “women” and “husband” and “wife” with the words “people” and “marital partners”. This bill will provide full legal, financial, and medical rights to LGBTQ+ couples. The bill will now go to the Senate, which rarely rejects any bill passed by the lower house. After this, the bill will be sent to the King of Thailand for approval. Once this law is enacted, Thailand will become the first country in Southeast Asia and the third country in Asia, after Taiwan and Nepal, where such a law has been passed.

Thailands Landmark Marriage Equality Bill

Danuphorn Punnakanta, a spokesman for the ruling Pheu Thai party and chairman of the committee monitoring the marriage equality bill, told parliament that the amendment is for everyone in Thailand regardless of their gender identity and does not deprive heterosexual couples of any rights. He emphasized that through this law, they will restore the fundamental rights of the LGBTQ+ group. However, the MPs did not approve the inclusion of the word “parent” in place of “father” and “mother” in the law. Gay rights activists say this will limit the rights of some LGBTQ+ couples to form families and have children.