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Thailand becomes first country in Southeast Asia to legalise same-sex marriage

Thailand legalises same-sex marriage

Thailand has become the first country in Southeast Asia to legalise same-sex marriage after its Senate passed a marriage equality bill in its final reading.

Out of the 152 members in attendance, 130 voted in favour, four voted against, and 18 abstained.

The law will go into effect 120 days after it’s published in the Royal Gazette.

Thailand’s Senate approves same-sex marriage bill

The country gained the honours of being the third destination in Asia to allow same-sex marriage on Tuesday (18 June) after its Senate voted in favour of passing the marriage equality bill in its final reading.

It follows the footsteps of Taiwan, which legalised same-sex marriage in 2019, and Nepal, which did so in 2023.

In March, Thailand’s marriage equality bill was passed by the Parliament’s lower house with a vote of 400 to 10, alongside two abstentions and three absences. This brought the Southeast Asian nation closer to legalising same-sex marriages.

Source: PPTV36 HD

LGBTQ advocates applaud the “significant” move, saying this sends a message on the importance of acceptance and inclusivity.

The bill “represents a monumental step forward” for LGBTQ rights in Thailand, said Panyaphon Phiphatkhunarnon, founder of non-profit organisation Love Foundation that champions LGBTQ equality, to CNN.

It will grant LGBTQ couples the same equal rights as heterosexual couples, including rights related to adoption, inheritance, tax allowance claims, and medical treatment consent for incapacitated partners.

Also, the law describes marriage as a partnership between any two people, instead of specifically between a man and a woman.


It changes words like “men”, “women”, “husbands”, and “wives” in marriage laws to gender-neutral terms.

Source: PPTV36 HD

After the law was approved, many LGBTQ activists and politicians celebrated in the National Assembly, waving rainbow flags and smiling.

Some raised their fists in solidarity with the LGBTQ community.

According to Channel NewsAsia (CNA), activists are hoping they could celebrate the first weddings as early as October.

Source: Thai PBS

Thailand has been known for its vibrant LGBT culture and tolerance; however, LGBT supporters in the country have been struggling for decades to have same-sex marriage legalised.

“Today love triumphed prejudice … after fighting for more than 20 years, today we can say that this country has marriage equality,” said Plaifah Kyoka Shodladd, member of a parliamentary committee on same-sex marriage, in the CNA report.

Also read: Catholic Church In S’pore Urges Acceptance Of LGBTQ Community As Pink Dot Approaches

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Featured image adapted from Thairath and PPTV36 HD.

Thanawut Fasaisirinan

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