Thailand: Marriage for same-sex couples legalized

BANGKOK – In an unprecedented move, the Thai Senate voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday in favor of legalizing marriage for same-sex couples, a historic act that makes Thailand the first Southeast Asian country to grant LGBT couples the same marital rights as heterosexual couples. The decision was celebrated as a triumphant “victory” by LGBT activists who had gathered in front of the Senate building and the Bangkok Art and Cultural Center.

Mookdapa Yangyuenpradorn, a representative of the human rights organization Fortify Rights, told the Catholic News Agency that this historic vote is a decisive step forward for equality in Thailand. She emphasized the importance of protecting these newly acquired rights without delay or discrimination. As a queer Thai, Yangyuenpradorn explained that the path to this achievement was long and challenging, but the efforts have paid off.

The Thai House of Representatives had already given its approval to the Marriage Equality Act in March, granting same-sex couples the same rights that had been exclusively reserved for heterosexual marriages, including the right to adopt children. Before the law can come into force, it still requires the signature of King Vajiralongkorn, followed by publication in the official Royal Gazette.

This development is not only of great importance for the LGBT community in Thailand but also for the global movement for equality. It reflects a growing trend towards the recognition and acceptance of LGBT rights in various parts of the world. The legalization of same-sex marriage in Thailand could serve as a catalyst for similar changes in other countries in the region and shows that progress toward equality is possible, even in societies that traditionally hold more conservative views. (zai) Photo: VNA