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Thailand Senate Passes Landmark Bill Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage

Thailand Senate Passes Landmark Bill Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage

Thailand’s Senate has approved a historic marriage equality bill, positioning the country to become Southeast Asia’s first to recognize same-sex marriage. The legislation, passed with overwhelming support, awaits formal approval from King Maha Vajiralongkorn and is expected to take effect within 120 days of being published in the royal gazette.

This milestone follows more than two decades of advocacy by LGBTQ advocates, marking Thailand as the third Asian jurisdiction after Nepal and Taiwan to legalize gay marriage. The bill redefines marriage as a partnership between two individuals, replacing gender-specific terms like “husband” and “wife” with gender-neutral language. It also grants equal inheritance and adoption rights to LGBTQ couples.

Celebrations erupted among politicians and activists at Thailand’s National Assembly, with rainbow flags waving and cheers resonating in support of the LGBTQ community. Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, a vocal supporter of LGBTQ rights, welcomed activists to his residence for celebratory events.

Despite Thailand’s reputation for LGBTQ tolerance, challenges remain, including the lack of recognition for transgender and nonbinary individuals to amend official identity documents. The constitutional amendment reflects a broader push for social justice and equality, positioning Thailand as a regional leader in human rights advocacy.

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