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Thailand Becomes The First Country In Southeast Asia To Do This

The Thailand Senate voted in support of a marriage equality bill, making the country third after Taiwan and Nepal in Asia to allow same-sex marriage

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By Kanan Parmar
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Credits: Google

Thailand's Senate voted overwhelmingly in support of a marriage equality bill, on Tuesday, making it the first Southeast Asian country to enact such a law.

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The bill was passed with the approval of 130 of the 152 members of the Senate in attendance, with 4 voting against it and 18 abstaining, according to news agency PTI.

The bill will now need King Maha Vajiralongkorn to sign off on it, followed by its publication in the Royal Government Gazette, which will set a date within 120 days when it becomes effective.

Thailand will become the third place in Asia, after Taiwan and Nepal, to allow same-sex marriage. The marriage equality bill grants full legal, financial and medical rights for marriage partners of any gender. The bill has also changed the Civil and Commercial Code to replace words such as “men and women” and “husband and wife” to “individuals” and “marriage partners.”

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The bill was approved by the House of Representatives right before the previous parliamentary session concluded in April.

Though Thailand has had a reputation for acceptance and inclusivity the country has struggled for decades to pass a marriage equality law due to conservative values and discrimination faced by the LGBTQ community.

Government and state agencies have also been historically conservative, making advocacy for marriage equality a difficult process of getting lawmakers and civil servants in the country to accept change.

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 "We are very proud of everyone involved in this historic moment. You have helped to bring about a massive change," Plaifah Kyoka Shodladd, an LGBTQ activist and member of the committee that scrutinised the law, told senators after the vote, as reported by AFP.

“Today love wins over prejudice,” the activist added.

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