A newly drafted marriage-equality law was approved by the cabinet yesterday afternoon. The new bill, which will go into consideration by the parliament this Thursday, will, hopefully, give LGBTQ+ couples the same rights enjoyed by heterosexual couples in an effort to allow diversity in Thailand, according to Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin.
Remember that civil union bill from the last government that would allow recognition same-sex civil partnerships? Yeah, this one kicks it up a notch. No more settling for the “not quite married” status quo. This time, it’s the real deal, with rings, cake, and maybe even a rooftop elopement overlooking the Chao Phraya (because why not?).
The civil union bill, which failed to get the okay from parliament as it was dissolved by former Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha ahead of the May elections, would have given the right for LGBTQ+ couples to adopt children, manage assets and inherit properties. It would not have given them the legality to marry.
Only two countries in Asia (Taiwan and Nepal) are currently giving marriage equality the green light, and globally, we’re looking at less than 40 countries. So, yeah, this could be a pretty big deal for Thailand and for LGBTQ+ rights in the region.
Parliament still needs to throw their thumbs up on Dec 21. Fingers crossed.
This article was first published with BK Magazine partner Coconuts Bangkok.