Thai cabinet endorses same sex civil partnerships

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Gaybutton
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Thai cabinet endorses same sex civil partnerships

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Thai Cabinet endorses bill giving same sex civil partnerships more rights, moves to House for vote

By Adam Judd

Wednesday, 8 July 2020

The Thai Cabinet officially endorsed a bill this afternoon that, if approved by the House in a formal vote, will permit civil partnership registration of same-sex couples in Thailand, as well as various legal amendments improving the rights of same sex couples.

The bill defines civil partners as couples born with the same sex. One of the two partners must have Thai nationality and both consenting couples must be over the age of seventeen years old.

Some of the rights the proposed bill includes:

-Equal rights to jointly held property and assets

-The right to adopt children, as long as the decision is agreed upon.

-When one partner dies, the other as the same rights as a Heterosexual couple, in accordance with Civil and Criminal Thai law.

– Courts with jurisdiction over family cases will be able to consider civil partnerships

If approved by the House, this is a major step forward for the LGBT in Thailand, who have been fighting for more rights for same sex partners for many years in the country. It is not clear when the exact vote by the House will be to potentially finalize the bill.

https://thepattayanews.com/2020/07/08/t ... -for-vote/
_____________________________________________________________

Same-sex marriage endorsed

by Mongkol Bangprapa

8 Jul 2020

The cabinet on Wednesday endorsed a bill permitting marriage registration of same-sex couples, along with legal amendments to ensure they have the same rights as different-sex couples.

The bill and the amendments will now be put to a vote in the House.

Deputy government spokeswoman Ratchada Dhnadirek said the new Civil Partnership Bill and the amendments to the Civil and Commercial Code would ensure fairness for people of all genders.

The bill defines civil partners as couples born with the same sex. Marriage registration will be available to consenting same-sex couples who are at least 17 years old. One or both of the couple must be of Thai nationality.

Minors who seek such marriage certification must have the consent of their parents, guardians or a court. After same-sex marriage registration, minors will be considered mature.

Spouses of civil partners will have the same legal rights as husbands and wives, including with regard to personal and jointly-held property.

Civil partners can adopt a child or a partner can adopt an adoptive child of a spouse.

When one partner dies, the other will have the same inheritance rights as conventional married couples under the Civil and Commercial Code. Sections of the code concerning married couples will also apply to civil partners.

The amended Civil and Commercial Code will prohibit a man or a woman from getting married if he or she already has a civil partner.

A man or a woman can face a divorce lawsuit if he or she treats someone else as a civil partner.

"The Civil Partnership Bill is a milestone for Thai society in promoting equality among people of all genders... This strengthens the families of people with sexual diversity and is appropriate for the present social circumstances," Miss Ratchana said.

The Justice Ministry, which proposed the bill and the legal amendment, would monitor the effectiveness of the changes and plan other legal amendments to ensure compliance with those already enacted, she said.

https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/ge ... e-endorsed

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Re: Thai cabinet endorses same sex civil partnerships

Post by bkkguy »

The bill defines civil partners as couples born with the same sex.
so no joy for transgender partners then? or can transgenders change their "birth" sex? or is this just a translation problem?
I’m nervous now when people cough near me, I would be much more comfortable if they would far cough.

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Re: Thai cabinet endorses same sex civil partnerships

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bkkguy wrote:
Wed Jul 08, 2020 6:53 pm
so no joy for transgender partners then? or can transgenders change their "birth" sex? or is this just a translation problem?
If both transgenders were born the same sex, seems like that won't be a problem. If not, if they were born of the opposite sex, even though they are transgenders now, wouldn't they be eligible for a standard marriage if they so choose?

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Re: Thai cabinet endorses same sex civil partnerships

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Gay marriage in Thailand has its pluses and minuses for foreigners in love

By Barry Kenyon

July 8, 2020

The news that the Thai Cabinet has endorsed a proposal to permit full civil marriage partnership between two members of the same sex, subject to a parliamentary vote, is a huge step forward for gay civil rights in the kingdom. As recently as last May, it was being widely assumed that politicians in high places would block a radical proposal. An earlier draft of the bill had insisted that only two Thai nationals could qualify for legal status, but the most recent version prepared by the Justice Ministry permits marriage between a foreigner and a Thai.

The new proposed law appears to give same sex partners all the rights of heterosexually joined couples in matters such as property rights, adoption and inheritance. And progress on gay rights in the country has been swift. As recently as 2002 the Ministry of Health was still classifying homosexuality as a mental illness. Not until 2005 did the armed services lift a ban on gays serving in the military, though some individuals still turn up at the recruitment station wearing a dress and pouting their lips. They aren’t necessarily homosexual, or even horny, but are encouraging stereotypes just to avoid the draft.

Of course much remains to be done. Discrimination against gays in employment has not been specifically outlawed by the constitution and the Thai Red Cross apparently still bans practising gays from donating blood under a 2009 announcement. In current Thai law only married couples “as Thai residents” are permitted to make a commercial surrogacy contract. All these and other subjects will doubtless need to be revisited by lawmakers in due course. Not to mention the societal status of third-gender persons and transsexuals who might or might not be homosexual by orientation. The shorthand LGBT is a bewildering panorama of sexual tastes.

The fact that foreigners will likely soon be able to marry a same sex partner aged at least 18 (or 17 if the Thai parents agree) will likely provoke a lot of discussion in gay households. Not everyone will be enthusiastic, some believing that gay marriage is an undesirable aping of the heterosexual lifestyle. But there are an unknown number of farang men who have long-term domestic relationships with Thai males: it likely runs into a thousand or two nationwide. The new proposals open up for them the bonus possibility of applying for the one year extension of stay based on marriage rather than for retirement, the former route requiring a lower income or less cash in a Thai bank to qualify. It’s easier too for married aliens to obtain a work permit too as they do not require a non-immigrant business (type “B”) visa to start the application.

It is also likely that overseas visas for Thais will become less difficult to obtain once a marriage certificate is on file. Not to mention other domestic pluses such as opening a Thai bank in dual names, or even obtaining the much sought-after (if largely pointless in many regions) yellow residence book. Foreigners making a will in Thailand and wishing to leave their estate to a Thai same sex spouse will have less cause for sleepless nights as legal challenges by disgruntled relatives will become more difficult once the new law is passed.

It is fairly easy to marry in Thailand, the main tasks being to obtain an affirmation of freedom to marry or a certificate of no-impediment from the appropriate embassy and to get a translation of that document legalized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The happy couple then journey for marital registration at the amphur of their choice. However, they should be aware that fake marriages are by no means unknown in Thailand and some local amphur offices will take weeks to check the paperwork once again.

Thai divorce is also easy to obtain provided both partners agree. It is not necessary to state reasons or to prove a matrimonial offence. Given that 50 percent of heterosexual marriages worldwide break down legally, there’s no reason to think gays will escape the statistics. And matters in Thailand can turn nasty if there is no mutual agreement. Under the country’s civil and criminal code, jointly owned property must be divided equally, whilst personal assets can be disputable if not part of a pre-nuptial agreement. To obtain a divorce individuals have to appear in person at the amphur and can’t use a proxy which can cause problems for foreigners not resident here. Speak to any Thai lawyer and he or she will regale you with horror stories about marriages on the rocks and assets. Gays will not be immune from the drama.

The proposals for gay marriage are clearly meant to make life less discriminatory for Thai women and men choosing same sex life Thai partners. But a not insignificant number of foreigners here are also going to be taking a close look whether for love or for security. Doubtless for many, it will work out satisfactorily. The rest should recall the warning of American actress Mae West when she announced, “Marriage is a great institution but I’m not ready for an institution yet.”

https://www.pattayamail.com/featured/ga ... ove-306826

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Re: Thai cabinet endorses same sex civil partnerships

Post by RichLB »

This could get complicated. Many of us in long term relationships with a Thai guy have a partner who owns property (real estate, vehicles, bank accounts, etc.) in his own name. If he should pre-decease his farang "husband" I assume the laws of inheritance would pass that property to his "spouse". I can just imagine the domestic brouhaha that could take place between the farang and Thai relatives. I also wonder about tax consequences - would Thai inheritance laws apply (if there are any) and would there be issues with home country tax laws? Anyway, just a few random thoughts.

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Re: Thai cabinet endorses same sex civil partnerships

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RichLB wrote:
Thu Jul 09, 2020 9:45 am
This could get complicated.
Those are good questions and if this does come into effect many more questions are likely. I wouldn't think seriously about making such a partnership without consulting a Thai attorney and finding out whether there would be any problems involving the embassy.

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Re: Thai cabinet endorses same sex civil partnerships

Post by ceejay »

If the procedure for these civil partnerships is the same as for heterosexual couples in Thailand, then there is the possibility of making declarations of assets at the time of making the partnership. Assets held before the partnership then remain the personal property of the individual partners. Only assets acquired during the partnership become shared assets, which is important with the death of the partner, or a divorce.

There are no tax implications that I am aware of in the United Kingdom.

Inheritance: in Thailand half of the common property of the partnership belongs absolutely to one partner on the death of the other. The other half can be willed to the surviving partner without tax, or to someone else with taxes applying in the case of real estate. Real estate that is part of the deceased's personal property can also be left to the surviving partner without tax.

Dying intestate. Don't go there, it will make life hell for your families in at least two continents. I have it on the authority of both UK and Thai lawyers that to make wills separately in the UK for UK assets only, and in Thailand for Thai assets only, is accepted by the courts of both countries and that is what I have done.

Two further points:

Th UK Embassy in Bangkok has previously not carried out civil partnership registration or marriage for same sex couples, if they involved a Thai citizen. This was on the grounds that such partnerships were not recognised by Thai law, and at the request of the Thai government. This may now change and if UK civil partnerships are recognised under Thai law, I could possibly go down that route. I would also be looking at registering twice.

Second, and very important to some people, the issue of occupational pensions. Many occupational pensions, including mine and, I believe, some Federal US pensions, have survivors benefits which are paid to the surviving partner. Realistically, that is likely to be the Thai partner in most cases for the readers of this board (or the regular posters anyway). If you are asking someone to give you the best years of their life with the prospect of being bereaved and left alone as they enter middle age, the least you can do is provide for them. The survivor benefit (50% of my pension in the case of my scheme) is enough to maintain a lower middle class standard of living in Thailand.

Finally, I echo what GB said.See a lawyer I consulted lawyers in both England and Thailand before I made my wills and, if I ever consider a civil partnership in Thailand I will do so again. I would also communicate formally with the UK tax authorities and with my pension provider. If you think that's expensive, then add up the value of everything you own - cash, investments, real state, annuities, everything - that's the amount you have at stake. It's worth doing right.

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Re: Thai cabinet endorses same sex civil partnerships

Post by Trongpai »

ceejay wrote:
Fri Jul 10, 2020 7:45 pm
Finally, I echo what GB said.See a lawyer
Yes, and I would like to know how a farang can inherit real estate (property) given that foreigners can not own property in their name, excluding some condos. Would having ownership via a registered Thai company work?

If this passes, big if, the law would be new and who knows how it might be applied. Thailand is known for ambiguous laws. This might be a case of ask five Thai lawyers for their opinion and get five different answers. Was it not a competent Thai lawyer who told Kevin Quill that he had nothing to worry about in his criminal conviction appeal and to remain in the country with his returned passport and open a new bar.

Married or not you'll still have to do silly 90 reports and a yearly renewal/ permission to stay in the Kingdom. Just change the O visa to a M visa, use the same form and pay the same fee.

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Re: Thai cabinet endorses same sex civil partnerships

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Trongpai wrote:
Mon Jul 13, 2020 1:32 pm
who knows how it might be applied.
That's the problem. There is bound to be plenty of questions and different answers no matter who you ask. While I hope it passes and works in a way that actually makes sense, I wouldn't hold my breath. I would certainly want to know how this would be advantageous - or potentially a big mistake.

As good as this seems, this is not anything to rush into until we know how it is all going to work and get reliable answers - not guesses - to all the questions that will come up - and what protections you will have - or not have - if the relationship goes south or you outlive your Thai partner.

While I am very happy that Thailand seems to be moving toward equal rights for LGBT, I can't help but think of that old saying, "If it seems too good to be true, then it isn't true."

Also, if you are fortunate enough to have a really good relationship going with a Thai boyfriend, I'm also reminded of the phrase, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

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Re: Thai cabinet endorses same sex civil partnerships

Post by ceejay »

Trongpai wrote:
Mon Jul 13, 2020 1:32 pm
Yes, and I would like to know how a farang can inherit real estate (property) given that foreigners can not own property in their name, excluding some condos. Would having ownership via a registered Thai company work? ........
Depends on the nature of the real estate. If it is actual land (with or without a house) it can be willed to a foreigner, but cannot be registered to him. It must be sold within one year of the death of the owner and if it is not, it is sold by public auction by the Legal Execution Department. You could, perhaps, sell it to a company you had set up, but whether you can do that depends on the local Land Office.

If it is a condo, it can be willed to any foreigner who is eligible to own a condo in Thailand, provided that this does not exceed the foreign quota in the condo. Otherwise, it has to be sold within one year, as above. It can also be willed to a non-eligible foreigner, but things then become complicated.
Trongpai wrote:
Mon Jul 13, 2020 1:32 pm
........Married or not you'll still have to do silly 90 reports and a yearly renewal/ permission to stay in the Kingdom. Just change the O visa to a M visa, use the same form and pay the same fee.
If these partnerships are recognised by immigration as equivalent to marriage (another big "if") then it is not the same for anyone who uses the 800K route for a retirement extension - because the funds required for an M extension are 400K.

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