Thailand to recognise same-gender unions, calls for full marriage equality

Thailand’s government are making moves towards recognising civil unions for same-gender couples in a landmark move for the Asian nation.

Bangkok Post have reported that the Thai cabinet have finalised a draft on a civil partnership bill that will grant same-gender couples similar rights to married couples, deciding not to move forward on full marriage equality.

The bill would allow same-gender couples to adopt children, share property rights and provide protections for inheritance. The bill does not provide equal government benefits for same-gender couples, as opposed to married heterosexual spouses.


“The Civil Partnership Bill is an important step for Thai society in promoting equal rights and supporting the rights of same-sex couples to build families and live as partners,” government spokesperson Ratchada Thanadirek wrote on social media.

Many LGBTIQ+ advocates have welcomed the bill, but some have concerns the government would not extend the laws to encompass equal marriage rights.

“What’s in a name? It’s the content that matters,” Rainbow Sky Association of Thailand President Kittinan Daramadhaj told¬†Reuters,¬†arguing the bill essentially allows marriage by another name.

“‘Civil partnership’ shouldn’t distract from the fact that it’s about the legal registration of unions.”

Prominent Thai opposition party Move Forward is proposing a second bill which would go a step further and redefine marriage to include two people of any gender, and urging those seeking full marriage equality to contact their parliamentary representative in the house.

Should the bill pass, Thailand will follow Taiwan as the second Asian country to recognise same-gender relationships, with Taiwan legislating for marriage equality in 2019.

OIP Staff

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