Thailand set to legalise same-sex unions, in rare win for LGBT rights in Southeast Asia
- The Civil Partnership Bill will let same-sex couples enjoy most of the rights of straight couples, including the ability to adopt children
- If passed, Thailand will become the second place in Asia to allow such unions after Taiwan legalised them in 2019
The Civil Partnership Bill, which does not go as far as endorsing marriage, will let same-sex unions enjoy most of the rights of heterosexual couples, including the right to adopt children, jointly manage assets and liabilities, and inherit from their partners.
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The bill in its current form still does not grant the couples access to each other’s government pension, but that could be allowed after some amendment at later stage, according to Justice Ministry’s Kerdchoke Kasamwongjit.
Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity is illegal, yet some in the LGBTQ+ community say they have trouble finding jobs outside the tourism, media and entertainment industries. Currently, same-sex couples do not have legal rights.
“Once it reaches the parliament, we can be 100 per cent certain that the bill will eventually become law,” said Kerdchoke, deputy director general of the Rights and Liberties Protection Department, who has been working on the bill since its inception in 2012.