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HomeWorldThailand Senate approves marriage equality law, leading southeast Asia in LGBT rights

Thailand Senate approves marriage equality law, leading southeast Asia in LGBT rights

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Thailand’s Senate passed the final reading of a marriage equality law on Tuesday, positioning the nation to become the first in Southeast Asia to recognize same-sex couples.

Supported by an overwhelming majority of lawmakers in the upper house, the bill marks the culmination of over two decades of activist efforts.

The law, pending royal approval, will come into effect 120 days after its publication in the royal gazette, potentially allowing the first same-sex weddings to occur later this year.

“Today we celebrate another significant milestone in the journey of our Equal Marriage Bill,” Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin posted on X. “We will continue our fight for social rights for all people regardless of their status.”

LGBT advocates hailed the move as a “monumental step forward,” making Thailand the first Southeast Asian nation to enact marriage equality legislation and the third in Asia, following Nepal and Taiwan.

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

Celebrations erupted in Thailand’s parliament, with lawmakers and activists waving rainbow flags and smiling, some raising their fists in solidarity with the LGBT community.

In Thailand’s northern Chiang Mai province, human rights activist Matcha Phornin, her wife Veerawan Wanna, and their adopted daughter watched the senate proceedings closely.

“We have support from the parliament, from the senators who passed this law. That means we are protected by law,” said Matcha, celebrating the bill’s passage. “And she will be legally adopted after this,” Matcha added, referring to their daughter.

Thailand, known for its vibrant LGBT culture and tolerance, celebrated Pride Month in June with thousands of revelers and activists parading through Bangkok, joined by Prime Minister Srettha in a rainbow shirt.

“This underscores Thailand’s leadership in the region in promoting human rights and gender equality,” stated the Civil Society Commission of marriage equality, activists, and LGBTQI couples in a statement.

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