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Thailand’s Lawmakers Warned Over Legalizing Pornography

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Lawmakers in Thailand have been warned not to support a proposed amendment bill by a group calling for the legalization of pornography in the Kingdom. The lawmakers who vote could breach Thailand’s ethical code for parliamentarians.

Mr. Sonthiya Sawasdee, an adviser to the House committee on law, justice, and human rights, issued the warning Friday. He said he will submit a letter to parliamentary president Chuan Leekpai to oppose the proposed amendment bill which seeks to amend Section 287 of Thailand’s Criminal Code.

Section 287 of Thailand’s Criminal Code prohibits the trade, distribution, and advertising of obscene material. People who break this law can face up to three years in prison, a fine of 6,000 baht, or both.

Mr. Sawasdee warned lawmakers who support the proposed amendment that they could violate Thailand’s ethical code for parliamentarians.

Mr. Sawasdee was referring to lawmaker Sira Jenjaka, a Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) MP for Bangkok. Mr. Jenjaka is the chairman of the Parliamentary House committee.

Section 287 of Thailand’s Criminal Code

On Wednesday, Mr. Jenjaka threw his support behind the proposed amendment, saying he will help push for the law to be amended. He also said there was no need to set up another committee to consider the proposal because the House Parliamentary Committee is already looking into the possibility of legalizing adult sex toys.

He said that Section 287 of Thailand’s Criminal Code also involves a ban on the advertising and distribution of pornography on online platforms. Officials from Thailand’s Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, the Culture Ministry, and the Council of State will be invited to discuss the matter. Mr. Jenjaka also said he felt sympathy for people who had to resort to creating sexual content to earn a living. Even more in a time of economic hardship caused by Covid-19 has hammered Thailand’s job market.

On Tuesday, an LGBTQ group calling for the legalization of pornographic videos and online streaming submitted a proposed amendment to the House Speaker’s office at Parliament House.

One of the group’s newest members is a 19-year-old woman who was recently arrested and charged for streaming live sex acts with her boyfriend online to paying subscribers.

Sexual content industry

Miss Suthanya Nakhonjinda was among those who arrived at Parliament House to submit the proposed amendment to Section 287 of Thailand’s Criminal Code. She and her boyfriend were arrested in early September for live streaming their sexual activities.

The LGBTQ group was led by a content creator and online influencer Attapol Khaithong. Attapol and the group claim that Section 287 of the criminal code prevents people who work in the sexual content industry from earning a legal income.

Section 287 of the criminal code obstructs occupations and limits individuals’ rights to choose what to do with their bodies and lives, Attapol said. The law should be amended to legalize the production, distribution, and or trading of sexual content and sex toys. Attapol also said that such activities could possibly be monitored by Thailand’s Culture Ministry and Public Health Ministry.

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