Thailand expected to introduce same-sex civil partnerships

By On April 28, 2018

Thailand expected to introduce same-sex civil partnerships

Thailand could become the first country in South East Asia to legalise civil partnerships, with the introduction of a landmark bill that could give same-sex couples the same legal rights as married heterosexual couples.

The proposed law would enable them to register as “life partners”.

It is being drafted by a subcommittee of Thailand’s Justice Ministry that is scheduled to convene on 4 May, before the Justice Minister presents the final draft to the cabinet for approval.

The countries where it’s illegal to be LGBT

Ratthanan Prapairat, 38, who has been with his male partner for over 20 years, was hopeful that the law would pass.

He told Thailand's The Nation newspaper that the proposed changes were "a must-have that should have been in place years ago as it would be very helpful in protecting the righ ts of same-sex couples”.

Mr Prapairat, who runs a clothing business with his partner, with whom he shares a house, said if th new law was implemented, they would definitely register their partnership.

It is not the first time the Thai government has proposed legalising same-sex marriage, but all previous attempts have been unsuccessful. The last was interrupted by the military coup in 2014.

As a result, some campaigners are sceptical that the law will change this time.

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Others have expressed concerns that, even if passed, the legislation won’t meet the needs of the LGBT+ community.

“We welcome the news that Thailand has resumed drafting a bill that would allow same-sex couples to register as ‘life-partners,’ but we look forward to more clarity as of what these provisions will mean in reality”, Lieu Anh Vu, coordinator of the Asian region of the International Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans and Intersex Association (Ilga), told The Independent.

â €œThere has been concern from civil society that the bill doesn’t provide same-sex couples with equal protection as heterosexual couples before the law: it is important to make sure that all couples are equally recognised, and that rainbow communities are consulted in the process of preparing a law that will have an important impact on their lives."

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Gender equality advocate Naiyana Supapuen noted in the The Nation that previous draft legislation “did allow same-sex marriage but then so many restrictions and conditions were present. It showed that the state still had a homophobia mindset.”

While the contents of the bill are unknown, many are hailing this as an important step in the journey towards better LGBT+ equality in Thailand.

“This would be an important milestone from the government towards equal recognition in the future,” Mr Vu said. “This bill will also promote understanding and acceptance of same-sex couples and of the wider rainbow families community."

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  • LGBTQIA
  • Civil partnerships
  • Thailand
Reuse contentSource: Google News Thailand | Netizen 24 Thailand

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