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Thailand: Marriage Equality Bill Stalled By Political Crisis

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

ThailandThailand’s proposed marriage equality bill is bogged down bu an unrelated political crisis in the country.

LGBT Weekly reports:

Thailand already was in the forefront of Asian countries with a bill in parliament for acknowledging marriage equality. However, the prolonged fluid situation of current Thai politics which saw parliament’s dissolution, a general election that was nullified and a caretaker government that has no authority to introduce new laws, did not see that bill proceed. Presently, Yingluck Shinawatra’s status as caretaker prime minister is at stake and her cabinet may be dissolved automatically if she is found by the Constitutional Court to have abused her authority. Such pressing political considerations have removed the equality rights bill from the forefront and relegated it to the back-burner, LGBT rights activists say.

Disappointing, but the fact that the delay isn’t related to the bill itself gives us hope.

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Thailand: Civil Partnership Law Proposed For Same-Sex Couples

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

ThailandThailand, long considered a gay frilly holiday destination, may bolster that claim with a proposed civil partnership law in the next year. Yahoo! News reports:

A civil partnership law in the works aims to give lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) couples the same rights as heterosexuals. One lawmaker sees it passing by next year. Same-sex unions are not currently recognized under Thai law, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman. That stops gay couples applying for joint bank loans or medical insurance. In 2012, a group of lawmakers and LGBT activists formed a committee to draft legislation recognizing same-sex couples. But critics of the law say it will not give a level playing field because it raises the age of consent to 20 from 17 for homosexual couples. For heterosexuals it is 17.

The law’s passage is by no means assured, and it would also force transgender citizens to register their birth gender on the marriage certificate. It’s also not full marriage equality. But it is a step forward.

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Thailand: Filmmakers Seek Funding Civil Unions Campaign

Saturday, June 22nd, 2013

Visible Silence FilmA separate Cisco lesbian couple is seeking additional funding to finish a film on lesbians in Thailand, hoping to raise awareness to help pass civil unions in the country. Gay Star News reports:

San Franciscan couple Ruth Gamnit and Marguerite Salmon have been asked by LGBT rights activists in Thailand to finish the film before August so they can use it in their campaign for civil unions same-sex couples, which parliament is due to vote on that month. The filmmakers, who documented the experience of Karen refugees from Burma in previous projects, are seeking to raise $20,000 ([euro]15,000) to finish the movie. In an interview with Gay Star News, Gamnit said that she was ‘horrified’ to learn that ‘in a country that is not perceived to be violent… in 2012 the UN called for the investigation into the murder of 15 toms and dees over the previous six years’.

If you’d like to support the effort, click here.

Thailand: Country May Consider Marriage Equality

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

ThailandThailand may consider a marriage equality bill later this year. The Voice of America reports:

This is a traditional Thai wedding, except there is no groom. There are two brides. This ceremony is only symbolic because Thailand, like all of Asia, does not recognize same sex marriage. But a draft law later this year could change that and make Thailand the first Asian nation to legalize gay marriage.

Wirat Kalayasiri is a member of the Thai parliament and deputy director of the committee drafting the same-sex law. He says the average age of lawmakers, older than 45, has made the promotion of the law more difficult.

The article also reports that, as of 2012, 58% of Thais oppose gay marriage. But still, it would be great if Thailand became the first asian country to embrace marriage equality.

Thailand: Human Rights Commission Pushes for Civil Partnerships, Says Marriage Equality Would “Take Too Long”

Friday, April 12th, 2013

ThailandThailand’s Human Rights Commission is suggesting a civil partnerships law in lieu of full marriage equality, because the latter would “take too long”. Gay Star News reports:

Thailand’s National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)’s Taejing Siripanich has said that he supports partnership rights for same-sex couples. However the NHRC is pushing for a new law to give same-sex partners rights, rather than legalizing marriage for gay couples. ‘It would take too long to change everything,’ said Siripanich. ‘A new law could state that all rights given to married heterosexual couples must now also apply to same-sex married couples.’

What kind of reason is that? “Sorry, it would take too long to give you your full civil rights. Have a civil partnership instead.”

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Thailand: Country Considers Civil Unions Bill

Sunday, February 17th, 2013

Thailand Lesbian CoupleA Thailand House committee is considering a gay/lesbian civil unions bill that, if passed, would be the first of its kind in Asia. reports:

The House committee chaired by Pol Gen Viroon Phuensaen, a Pheu Thai Party-list MP, started drafting the bill a year ago after receiving a complaint from a gay male couple. The couple said they had been denied a marriage certificate. Three more public hearings will take place at Chiang Mai University on Friday, Khon Kaen University on Feb 22 and Prince of Songkhla University on March 1, respectively. Opinions from the public will be gathered and used to amend the bill before being proposed to the cabinet for further consideration. If the cabinet rejects the bill, the supporters have pledged to collect 10,000 names of eligible voters or at least 20 members of the House of Representatives to forward to parliament for consideration.

In related news, a lesbian couple tried to get married on Valentine’s Day, the Advocate reports:

An adorable lesbian couple in Thailand joined thousands of couples across the globe who tried to get married on Valentine’s Day. According to Coconuts Bangkok, Pallawee Jongtangsajjatham and Rungtiwa Tangkanopak were one of many couples that went to the Bang Rak District to get a marriage certificate on V-day but officials turned them away, saying same-sex marriage wasn’t legal in the country.

Thailand: Government Drafting Civil Partnerships Law

Monday, December 17th, 2012

Thailand Government Drafting Civil Partnerships LawThe Thai government has formed a committee to draft legislation on civil-partnership law for same-sex couples.

One of the committee members, Anjana Suvarnananda of LGBT rights group Anjaree told Gay Star News that the committee has already met and the timetable for drafting recognition of same-sex partnerships is six weeks.

‘It’s just drafting,’ said Suvarnananda. ‘And then they will send it to a legal department who will iron it out and make it more legal language. And then it needs to get approval from the government. I’m not sure how long it will take.’

Authored By Anna Leach – See the Full Story at Gay Star News

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Thailand: New Marriage Equality Ad

Monday, August 20th, 2012

Just got this new marriage equality video from one of our twitter followers – thanks, @iipongz! It even has english subtitles. Enjoy!

See the Original at YouTube

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Thailand: Gay Facebook Friends Get Married

Sunday, January 8th, 2012

Having found each other on Facebook and dated for three years, 27-year-old Thongchai Rattanakaew wed his 30-year-old florist boyfriend Chumwit Sudsai in front of their parents and 200 guests in Trang’s Huay Yot district yesterday.

Chumwit’s mother, Jinda Sudsai, said she had known her son was homosexual since he was young, but she had never criticised him because he was a good person and didn’t cause any problems to society. She also encouraged him to join beauty contests, eventually leading to his victory in the Miss Krabi Fairies 2011 title, she said. She gave her blessing and consent to his wedding because it made him happy, and because society was now more open to same-sex marriage.

Jinda said her family sought no money or assets from the “groom” – as she described Thongchai; the families speak of Chumwit as the “bride” – beyond the gold-and-diamond wedding ring, because love and understanding were more important than money.

Full Story from AsiaOne

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Thailand: National Human Rights Commission to Push Marriage Equality Legislation

Monday, September 5th, 2011

Thailand Gay MarriageThe Office of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the Sexual Diversity Network are considering pushing forward draft legislation to back the marital status of “gay” relationships.

NHRC secretary-general Chuchai Suphawong said Monday the draft law to back “gay” relationship status was a good thing and NHRC would fully support it.

Chuchai was speaking at a seminar brainstorming draft legislation for the proposal in a lead up to the APF Annual Meeting and Biennial Conference opening in Bangkok’s Shangrila Hotel from today.

Full Story from The Nation

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