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Thailand Passes Historic Bill Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage

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Thailand has made history as the first country in Southeast Asia to legalize same-sex marriage.

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The Senate approved the new law with 130 votes in favor, 4 against, and 18 abstentions. This change will take effect 120 days after it is published in the Royal Gazette, pending royal assent from King Maha Vajiralongkorn.

Thailand will join Taiwan and Nepal as the only places in Asia where same-sex couples can marry. Activists are optimistic that the first same-sex weddings could happen as soon as October.

Plaifah Kyoka Shodladd, an LGBTQ activist, celebrated the vote, stating it marks a significant step forward in the fight against prejudice.

Tunyawaj Kamolwongwat, a member of the progressive Move Forward Party, called the new law a victory for the people. The legislation changes traditional terms like “men,” “women,” “husbands,” and “wives” in marriage laws to gender-neutral language.

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It also grants same-sex couples the same rights as heterosexual couples in areas like adoption and inheritance.

For instance, Kevin Pehthai Thanomkhet expressed his joy that he can now legally adopt his partner’s child and have a say in his upbringing.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, who supports the LGBTQ community, has announced plans to celebrate this milestone by opening his official residence to activists and supporters.

Since the Netherlands became the first country to legalize same-sex marriage in 2001, over 30 countries have followed suit. However, in Asia, only a few countries, including now Thailand, recognize marriage equality.





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