“Controversial” Thailand Same Sex Marriage Law Causes Debate

by Admin on June 12, 2013

Thailand could become the first country in Asia to legalize gay marriage reports. The debate began in Thailand  last year when Nathee Theerarojanapong and his boyfriend of more than 20 years tried to marry, but were not given permission.

Thailand is of course reknowned worldwide for its liberal acceptance of sexuality, but the proposed same-sex marriage law is causing debate.

Thailand has never outlawed homosexuality and many believe the Buddhist culture promotes greater acceptance of sexual differences.

However The Voice of America reports that a survey conducted last year suggests that  58% of the Thai public retain traditional beliefs that same-sex marriage should not be made legal.That said, in February, 200 people turned out at a Bangkok university to support the idea of civil partnerships for same sex couples.

At present section 1448 of the Thailand Civil and Commercial Code says that marriage can only take place between a man and a woman who are at least 17 years old, and section 1458 requires the consent of a man and a woman to take each other as husband and wife. This means therefore under Thailand marriage law  gay couples have no legal recognition, leaving them without many basic rights other married couples enjoy such as the ability to pay joint taxes, medical coverage, and power over health care decisions.

If the proposed legislation is made law, the legal recognition of same-sex couples will be a first for Thailand, and also in Asia. It is known that Vietnam and Taiwan are considering similar bills, but have no immediate plans to indtroduce legislation.

Read the full story here

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