Thailand’s historic same sex marriage equality bill cleared its first reading in parliament on Wednesday a historic bill by the Move Forward Party.
In addition, three draft bills conferring different legal statuses on civil unions between people of all sexes were approved.
It took four hours for the marriage equality bill to pass its first reading by a vote of 210 to 180 and four abstentions. This bill was sponsored by the Move Forward Party.
Three other bills were also approved in principle, including two on civil partnerships sponsored Same Sex Marriage Bill Clears Parliament in Thailand by the cabinet and the Democrat Party. Cabinet’s bill passed by 222 to 167, while the Democrats’ bill passed by 251 to 124 with 30 abstentions.
The third amendment to the Civil Code concerning civil partnerships was adopted 230 to 169.
Same sex marriage discrimination
MP Thanyawaj Kamolwongwat, a zealous supporter of the marriage equality bill on the Move Forward Party list, told parliament that LGBTQI+ people were demanding the rights they deserve to marry without discrimination.
In a passionate address to the chamber during which he called for the adoption of the marriage equality bill, he said that the law would show that parliament had an open mind.
As a member of the Democrat list, Issara Seriwatthanawut opposed the cabinet’s bill, saying it made LGBTQI+ people second-class citizens by restricting marriage to two people of the same sex.
As the Democrats’ bill stipulates that marriage can be between people of any gender, it is more open, he said.
Outside the parliament house, gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender rights activists submitted a letter to the House of Representatives inviting it to pass the marriage equality bill, which would make marriage law applicable to any couple regardless of gender.
Tankhun Jitt-itsara, Secretary to the Political Working Group of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, received the letter at the parliament complex on Kiak Kai Road, Bangkok.
LGBTQI+ seek equal treatment
The gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and intersex groups said they object to the government’s Civil Partnership Bill because it does not fully endorse same sex marriage, and they seek equal treatment, not special treatment.
Earlier, the cabinet opposed the same sex marriage equality bill. A government official explained that the Move Forward Party’s draft was redundant given the government-sponsored draft.
After the four bills passed their first reading, the Move Forward Party hailed it as a ‘historic move’ for marriage equality for people from all backgrounds and genders.
Pita Limjaroenrat, leader of the Move Forward Party, said that the passage of the marriage equality bill in its first reading was a victory.
Mr. Thanyawaj thanked all sides for their support and thanked lawmakers for seeing the bill through its first reading.