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HOME // National News // Lower House overwhelmingly passes same-sex marriage bills’ first reading

Lower House overwhelmingly passes same-sex marriage bills’ first reading

PHOTO: Manan Vatsyayana/AFP

The lower house of the Thai parliament has voted overwhelmingly in favour of 4 same-sex marriage bills in their first reading. Campaigners say Thailand’s laws are no longer a reflection of the social attitudes of the times and that lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans people and same-sex couples face institutional discrimination.

Draft legislation presented yesterday, December 21, was overwhelmingly passed by all but 4 of the 380 lawmakers in the lower house. The next stage will see a committee formed to combine the 4 bills into one. That bill when then be submitted for further debate and more voting next year.

Of the four bills presented yesterday, one was tabled by PM Srettha Thavisin’s administration, another was submitted by various civil society groups, and a further two were tabled by the opposition Move Forward and Democrat parties.

Deputy PM Somsak Thepsuthin told lawmakers that the draft legislation paves the way for every couple, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, to have the right to marry.

“In principle, this draft law is for the amendment of some provisions in the civic codes to open the way for lovers, regardless of their gender, to engage and get married. This will provide rights, responsibilities, and family status as equal to the marriage between a man and a woman presently in all aspects.”

According to a Reuters report, a poll carried out between October 31 and November 14 showed that 96.6% of Thai people are in favour of marriage equality. If the legislation is passed, Thailand will become the third Asian country to legalise same-sex marriage, after Taiwan and Nepal.

SOURCE: Reuters

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