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Thailand passes historic marriage equality bill

Thailand has become the first country in South East Asia, and third country in the Asian region, to achieve marriage equality.

Thailand follows Taiwan and Nepal in removing gender requirements from its marriage laws. However Nepal’s marriages are being conducted under an interim order from the country’s Supreme Court, and a final judgement is yet to be delivered.

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The Thai legislation removes terms such as ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ and replaces it with ‘spouse’ instead.

The bill passed the parliament’s upper house with the support of almost all of the lawmakers and will now be send to King Maha Vajiralongform for endorsement.

Once the new law is published in the royal gazette in will come into effect 120 days later.

The final vote on the new laws was supported by 130 of the the 152 members of the senate. Only four parliamentarians voted against the laws, while 18 abstained.

After the laws passed a large crowd gathered outside Government House waving pride flags, and throwing rainbow-coloured bouquets in the air.

Alongside the right marry, same sex-couples will also have the same rights as heterosexual couples when it comes to adoption, healthcare, and inheritance.

Thailand is the 37th country to achieve marriage equality. While the change in marriage laws are being celebrated, local rights activists have highlighted that the country, while embracing transgender people in their culture, does not afford them any legal protections.

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