Thailand cabinet approves the first draft of same-sex civil union bill

What does it mean for the local LGBTI community?

Thailand is moving forward in recognizing same-sex couples.

Today the cabinet approved the first draft of a bill regulating civil partnerships. This paves the way for Thailand to become the first country in Asia to endorse same-sex marriage.

In the current version of the bill, same-sex couples may adopt children if they are 20 years old at least and hold a Thai passport. Moreover, in terms of assets and estate, the Civil and Commercial Code will apply mutatis mutandis, making the union very similar to that of heterosexual couples, reports.

A civil union ends by death, voluntary separation or court order.

What’s next for Thailand?
The next step will see the cabinet sending the draft to the National Legislative Assembly (NLA).

‘NLA will vote whether they will accept this law for discussion and recommendation or not. If they vote to accept, they can make an amendment if they need to. Then they will vote to pass it as law,’ journalist Ryn Jirenuwat told Gay Star News.

If it is passed, it will be announced in the Royal Gazette and will take effect 120 days later.

Jirenuwat also said that it is unpredictable to say whether the NLA will pass it as law, but ‘they might want some popularity for the next general election that will be held in February’.

Still great news?
‘Thailand cabinet today approved a draft of LGBT Civil Partnership Bill,’ Jirenuwat tweeted.

‘The draft law will go to the National Legislative Assembly for further deliberation. A long, LONG way to go to get the LGBT gay marriage bill but it’s a leap forward. Still a GREAT NEWS!’

However, some LGBTI activists aren’t impressed by the news.

They have called for the bill to be dropped, and for the Civil Code amended to allow full marriage equality.

‘How can we support this law if this is another law that discriminates against us?’ said Matcha Phorn-in, a Thai LGBTI rights activist.

‘We need LGBTIQ to be included and not [to have] a separate law that creates second-class citizens. If [the bill] is not approved, it will be easier to make [future] changes in the Civil Code.’

by Stefania Sarrubba
Source – Gay Star News