NewsThailand's landmark decision: Same-sex marriages legalised

Thailand's landmark decision: Same-sex marriages legalised

The Parliament in Thailand celebrates marriage equality on the 18th of June
The Parliament in Thailand celebrates marriage equality on the 18th of June
Images source: © Licensor

18 June 2024 15:43

Thailand is the first country in East Asia to legalize same-sex marriages. The first weddings are expected to take place later this year.

On June 18, the Thai Senate approved the final reading of the marriage equality bill, paving the way for Thailand to become the first Southeast Asian country to recognize same-sex couples. The bill, the culmination of over two decades of activism, was supported by most lawmakers in the upper house. The new regulations now only require royal assent.

Thai Senate approved same-sex marriages by a vast majority

The law will become effective 120 days after being published in the royal government gazette, meaning that the first same-sex weddings can take place later this year. Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin wrote on platform X: "Today, we celebrate another significant milestone on the road to our marriage equality act. I am proud of the collective effort of all stakeholders, which confirms the strength of 'unity in diversity' in Thai society. We will continue our fight for social rights for all people, regardless of their status."

Reuters news agency described the atmosphere in the Thai parliament. Plaifah Kyoka Shodladd, a parliamentary committee member for same-sex marriages, said: "We are very proud to be making history." He added: "Today, love has triumphed over prejudice... after more than 20 years of struggle, today we can say that marriage equality is law in this country." Lawmakers and activists celebrated by smiling and waving rainbow flags.

Same-sex marriages in Asia and Europe

Thailand, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Asia, is known for its vibrant LGBTQ+ culture and tolerance. At the beginning of June, thousands of people paraded through the streets of Bangkok to celebrate Pride Month. Among them was Prime Minister Srettha in a rainbow shirt. Thailand is the first country in East Asia to legalize marriage equality. Taiwan, which is not recognized as a state by most other countries, introduced similar regulations in 2019.

In Europe, same-sex couples can marry in Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Poland is obligated to regulate the legal situation of same-sex couples by a ruling of the European Court of Human Rights from December 2023. The Court found that the lack of regulation in this area is a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights.

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