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Video: Thailand moves closer to legalising gay marriage as parliament passes landmark Bill, 27 March 2024

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On Wednesday, 27 March 2024, Thailand's lower house of parliament passed a marriage equality Bill at the final reading, in a landmark step that moved the country closer to becoming the third territory in Asia to legalise same-sex unions.
The Bill now required approval from the Senate and endorsement from the king before it became law. It had the support of all of Thailand's major parties and was passed by 400 of the 415 lawmakers present, with 10 voting against it.
"We did this for all Thai people to reduce disparity in society and start creating equality," Danuphorn Punnakanta, chairman of the parliamentary committee on the draft Bill, told lawmakers ahead of the reading. "I want to invite you all to make history."
The passing of the Bill marked a significant step towards cementing Thailand's position as one of Asia's most liberal societies on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues, with openness and freewheeling attitudes coexisting with traditional, conservative Buddhist values.
Thailand had long been a draw for same-sex couples, with a vibrant LGBT social scene for locals and expatriates, and targeted campaigns to attract LGBT travellers.
The Bill could take effect within 120 days of royal approval. Thailand would follow Taiwan and Nepal in becoming the first places in Asia to legalise same-sex unions.
The legislation had been more than a decade in the making, with delays due to political upheaval and disagreement on what approaches to take and what should be included in the Bill.
The Constitutional Court had in 2020 ruled Thailand's current marriage law, which only recognised heterosexual couples, was constitutional, recommending legislation be expanded to ensure the rights of other genders.
In December 2023, the Thai Parliament had approved four different draft Bills on same-sex marriage in the first reading and tasked a committee to consolidate those into a single draft.



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Thai same-sex marriage Bill passes first reading

Apr 02, 2024, 08:20 PM

BANGKOK - The Thai Senate passed the first reading of a Bill to legalise same-sex marriage on April 2, taking the kingdom another step closer to becoming the first South-east Asian country to recognise marriage equality.


The vote sailed through the unelected Upper House – stacked with conservative appointees named by the last junta – with 147 votes in favour, four against and seven abstaining, building on the momentum from last week’s landslide vote in Parliament.

Earlier, senators debated the legislation, which would change references to “men”, “women”, “husbands” and “wives” in the marriage law to gender-neutral terms.


The legislation will now go to a 27-person committee for further consideration.


The Senate cannot reject the proposed changes but can send the Bill back to the Lower House for further debate for 180 days.


It will come back for two more Senate votes, with the next probably no earlier than July.



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