Thailand to be first Southeast Asian country to recognise same-sex marriage

June 19, 2024 4:22 pm

[Source: Reuters]

Thailand’s Senate passed the final reading of a marriage equality law on Tuesday, paving the way for it to become the first country in Southeast Asia to recognise same-sex couples.

The bill, the culmination of more than two decades of effort by activists, was supported by an overwhelming majority of lawmakers in the upper house.

The law, which needs royal approval, will come into force 120 days after it is published in the royal gazette, meaning the first same sex weddings could take place later this year.

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“Today we celebrate another significant milestone in the journey of our Equal Marriage Bill,” Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said in a post on X.

“We will continue our fight for social rights for all people regardless of their status.”

LGBT advocates called the move a “monumental step forward,” as Thailand would be the first nation in Southeast Asia to enact marriage equality legislation and the third in Asia, after Nepal and Taiwan.

“We are very proud to make history,” said Plaifah Kyoka Shodladd, member of a parliamentary committee on same-sex marriage.

“Today love triumphed prejudice … after fighting for more than 20 years, today we can say that this country has marriage equality.”

Lawmakers and activists were seen celebrating in Thailand’s parliament, waving rainbow flags and smiling, with some raising their fists in solidarity with the LGBT community.