Civil partnerships may become legal in Thailand

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Civil partnerships may become legal in Thailand

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Just 4 days ago I posted an article making it clear that at least for the time being there will be no LGBTQ marriages in Thailand
(see: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=10912 ).

However, civil partnerships have been more seriously considered. We've been hearing about that possibility for a couple years now. Perhaps this time it will be going someplace. We will see. This time it just might happen. If this article is accurately portraying the possibility, this could be the first time I will be holding my breath.
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Thailand’s Ministry of Justice to resubmit Civil Partnership Draft Bill for Cabinet consideration after it did not contradict any religious norms, according to several studies

By Nop Meechukhun

20 April, 2022

Thailand’s Ministry of Justice is planning to resubmit the Civil Partnership draft to the Cabinet for reconsideration as it did not contradict any religious norms, which is another step forward for the potential legalization of same-sex marriage and partnerships in Thailand.

Justice Minister Somsak Thepsutin revealed today, April 20th, that after the cabinet had authorized the Ministry of Justice and the Rights and Liberties Protection Department to review the Civil Partnership Draft with three additional questions: the principles, rationale, and necessity of having such laws; the support for the government’s proposed Civil Partnership Bill and equal marriage; and the opinions among several religious groups and academics.

After listening to opinions from members of LGBTQ groups and religious groups as well as studying research from Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University, it was found that the draft bill, which included same-sex marriage, did not contradict Buddhist principles, the main religion in Thailand.

Meanwhile, Christianity representatives saw that it might go against their beliefs, so they rather encouraged the use of the term ‘Civil Partnership’ in the draft and requested the draft to also protect religious leaders who refused to marry same-sex couples. Representatives from the Islamic faith in Thailand said that the bill was contrary to their religious principles but they did not object to pushing it to become law.

“There used to be a similar draft law proposed to the House of Representatives but was turned down. But for the Civil Partnership draft bill, it was proposed by the government and was currently in the process of debate. After our study conclusion, the results and the redraft would be forwarded to the Cabinet for further consideration and the next steps,” the Minister of Justice said.

https://thepattayanews.com/2022/04/20/t ... l-studies/

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Re: Civil partnerships may become legal in Thailand

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The Pattaya News wrote:
Thu Apr 21, 2022 5:21 pm
Christianity representatives saw that it might go against their beliefs, so they rather encouraged the use of the term ‘Civil Partnership’ in the draft and requested the draft to also protect religious leaders who refused to marry same-sex couples.
Representatives from the Islamic faith in Thailand said that the bill was contrary to their religious principles but they did not object to pushing it to become law.
What the hell has it got to do with these religious groups ?

Just because something is permitted, it doesn't mean they have to do it. If a non-believer wants to get married, it's none of their damn business.

At least, in this instance the Islamic group appear to have raised no objection*, but the christians are interfering where they have no business to do so.

[* I wish this was the same everywhere in the world]

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Re: Civil partnerships may become legal in Thailand

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Jun wrote:
Thu Apr 21, 2022 5:41 pm
the christians are interfering where they have no business to do so.
Haven't they been doing just that for roughly the past 2000 years? And they will continue to do that. Don't you just love how these people think it is perfectly legitimate for them to decide for you how you should live your life and what rights you can and cannot have?

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Re: Civil partnerships may become legal in Thailand

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Totally agreed Jun and going one further, we have had all the discussions, debates, votes etc, over the past how many years, its now time to "do your business" or get off the pot ... as the saying goes.

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Re: Civil partnerships may become legal in Thailand

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Cabinet approves Civil Partnership Bill

7 Jun, 2022

The cabinet has approved the Civil Partnership Bill, which allows same-sex couples to register their partnership, and legal amendments after being vetted by the Council of State.

Deputy government spokeswoman Rachada Dhnadirek said on Tuesday that the cabinet earlier endorsed the draft bill, which was sponsored by the Justice Ministry in July 2020, but it resolved that the ministry needed to thoroughly study the bill to justify its need and get public feedback.

The Council of State, the central legal advisory body to the government, had already vetted the bill and the legal amendments, which were forwarded to the cabinet on Tuesday. Following the cabinet approval, they will be put to a vote in the House of Representatives, said Ms Rachada.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said on Tuesday that the Civil Partnership Bill was a new law in response to global changes, particularly gender equality and sexual diversity. They were fundamental human rights that must be protected in line with international principles.

Same-sex engagement and marriages affected some existing laws that must be amended to prevent obstacles because being families had legal binding on many things such as inheritance, assets, heirship, surrogacy, child adoption as well as social dimensions.

The government had assigned the Justice Ministry to thoroughly study the bill and listen to views from all sectors, both the public sector and representatives of all religions, and all sides were already consulted to correct all shortcomings, said the prime minister.

The bill was truly socially constructed and international, Gen Prayut added.

The bill defines civil partners as couples born with the same gender. Civil unions will be available to consenting same-sex couples who are at least 17 years old as long as at least one is a Thai national.

Civil partners will have the same legal rights as married people regarding personal and jointly held property, as well as the right to adopt children.

When one partner dies, the other will have the same inheritance rights as conventional married couples under the Civil and Commercial Code, which also prohibits 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.

Under the amendment, the right to receive living allowances in the case of divorce is terminated if the party receiving them remarries or registers a civil partnership.

https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/ge ... rship-bill
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Same-sex marriage on Thailand’s horizon as Cabinet okays bill

June 7, 2022

The Cabinet on Tuesday approved the Civil Partnership Bill, which will allow same-sex couples to get married but will not give them all the rights included in Move Forward's Marriage Equality bill.

Speaking to reporters after the Cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha boasted that the Civil Partnership bill had been drafted in line with the changing global trends.

He said once the bill is enacted into law, it would guarantee sexual equality and endorse all sexual diversities in line with international human rights standards. The bill had been proposed by the Justice Ministry.

The ministry held a public hearing and took into account all opinions, including those of religious leaders, to plug possible loopholes before revising the bill to meet global standards, Prayut said.

He added that this bill will be deliberated in the House soon, alongside Move Forward’s Marriage Equality bill, which goes one step further by granting equal rights to same-sex married couples.

Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said the bill will definitely be tabled in the current parliamentary session, but could not guarantee if it will be enacted before this government’s term ends in March.

The government’s Civil Partnership bill had been rejected by the LGBTQI community, who have been pushing for the Marriage Equality bill drafted by Move Forward MP Tunyawaj Kamolwongwat.

“The LGBTQI people need full rights. The Civil Partnership bill stops short of giving same-sex couples all the rights and benefits offered to their heterosexual counterparts.

“The same-sex marriage draft bill will ensure full equality with dignity and benefits. We have to fight for the right things,” Tunyawaj said in an exclusive interview with Voice of the Nation on Monday.

Upon receiving the Marriage Equality bill, the House forwarded it to the Cabinet for endorsement. However, the Cabinet returned it on March 29, saying the government was drafting its own bill with similar details.

“I felt like I was swimming along with the current when suddenly I had to start swimming all over again,” the MP said.

The LGBTQI community wants Tunyawaj’s bill to be taken into consideration because it also offers all the rights offered to heterosexual couples. The Civil Partnership Bill signifies that LGBTQI people are second or third class citizens.

The non-government organisation iLaw also pointed out on its website that the government’s bill uses the term “civil partners” instead of “married” partners. This may mean that LGBTQI people who register their marriage may not get the same rights as heterosexual married couples, it said.

https://www.nationthailand.com/in-focus/40016406
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Thai Cabinet approves same-sex marriage draft bill

By Nop Meechukhun

7 June, 2022

The Cabinet Committee today, June 7th, gave a green light to the same-sex marriage draft bill after being previously rejected and put in a setback in March.

Government deputy spokeswoman Ratchada Thanadirek said after the Cabinet meeting this afternoon that the Cabinet has approved the Life Partnership Registration Act (LPRA) B.E. … and the draft amendment of the Civil and Commercial Code related to the same-sex marriage issues after being reviewed by the Office of the Council of State.

The draft bill aims to support the cohabitation relationship commitment between same-sex couples, including foster care and other aspects of relationships, which are no different than heterosexual marriages.

In short, the draft of the Life Partnership Registration Act is granting same-sex couples to register as legal life partners, adopt children, manage and plan inheritance, conduct funeral rights, file for divorce, and claim alimony when separated. But they are prohibited from remarrying the same partner.

“After the Justice Ministry consulted and reviewed the draft bill with several members of LGBTQ groups, religious groups, and academics, representatives of Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam do not object to pushing the bill to become law and understand that Thailand is a multicultural society,” the deputy spokeswoman added.

The bill will be passed to the parliament for further approval as law. However, Anutin Charnvirakul, Public Health Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, told the Associated Press as the leader of his political Thai Party that some of his MPs will vote against the draft bill in the parliament as they considered that the Act contradicted their religious principles.

https://tpnnational.com/2022/06/07/thai ... raft-bill/

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Re: Civil partnerships may become legal in Thailand

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Parliament passes marriage equality bill, 3 other drafts

by Aekarach Sattaburuth

June 15, 2022

The marriage equality bill cleared its first reading in parliament on Wednesday in what was billed as a historic move by the sponsor.

Three related draft bills conferring differing legal status to civil unions between people across all genders were also approved.

After four hours of deliberation, the marriage equality bill passed its first reading in a vote of 210 to 180 with four abstentions. The bill was sponsored by the Move Forward Party (MFP).

Three other bills, including two on civil partnerships sponsored by the cabinet and the Democrat Party, were also approved in principle. The cabinet's bill was admitted in a vote of 222 to 167, while the Democrats' bill sailed through by 251 to 124 with 30 abstentions.

The third bill amending the Civil Code on civil partnerships was adopted by 230 to 169.

During the debate, Thanyawaj Kamolwongwat, an MFP list MP who is one of the most zealous supporters of the marriage equality bill, told parliament LGBTQI+ people were calling for the rights that rightly belonged to them and they deserved to be treated without discrimination in their marriages.

"The parliament would show it had a open mind if it adopted (the marriage equality bill). It would be a victory not for MFP but for the people," he said during an impassioned address in the chamber.

Issara Seriwatthanawut, a Democrat list MP who pushed for the party's civil partnership bill, argued against the cabinet's bill, saying it sought to make LGBTQI+ people second-class citizens by limiting a marriage to a union between people of the opposite sex.

The Democrats' bill, he said, is more open as it stipulates that marriage can be a union between people of any gender.

Outside the parliament, members of the LGBTQI+ rights movement submitted a letter calling on the House of Representatives to pass the marriage equality bill, saying it would make the marriage law applicable to any couple, regardless of their gender.

The letter was received by Tankhun Jitt-itsara, Secretary to the Political Working Group of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, at the parliament complex on Kiak Kai Road, Bangkok.

The LGBTQI+ group said they do not accept the government's Civil Partnership Bill, which does not fully endorse same-sex marriage, and that they are demanding equal treatment and not special treatment.

The marriage equality bill was earlier opposed by the cabinet. The government's justification was that the MFP's proposed draft was simply redundant given the government-sponsored draft bill.

On Wednesday, after the four bills made it through the first reading, the MFP hailed it as a historic move for marriage equality for people with diverse gender backgrounds and everyone in the country.

MFP leader Pita Limjaroenrat said the marriage equality bill's first reading passage marked a victorious step toward marriage equality for all.

Mr Thanyawaj thanked all sides who supported the bill and the lawmakers who saw it through its first reading adoption.

https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/ge ... her-drafts
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Marriage Equality Bill sails through first reading despite govt pressure

June 15, 2022

The Marriage Equality Bill of the opposition Move Forward Party to allow same-sex marriage sailed through the first reading on Wednesday despite the government’s relentless efforts to shoot it down.

The bill was passed with 210 votes for and 180 votes against at 4.21pm after many opposition MPs took turns to debate in support of it since 11.50am.

Twelve MPs abstained while four others did not cast their votes. A total of 406 MPs were present when the vote was called.

The bill was drafted by Move Forward party-list MP Tunyawaj Kamolwongwat.

It was initially set to be deliberated in March but the Cabinet asked the House to put in on hold for the government to discuss it first. But the Cabinet later rejected it on grounds that the Justice Ministry has a similar and better draft called Civil Partnership Bill.

On Wednesday morning, when the House was about to vote on the Marriage Equality Bill, the coalition whip asked the House to put the vote on hold, saying the government is proposing two alternative drafts for the House to deliberate on.

The coalition whip said the government has sponsored the Civil Partnership Bill and a bill to amend the Civil and Commercial Code in accordance with the civil partnership registration.

Earlier, the coalition whip unveiled its strategy that it would kill the Marriage Equality Bill when the House was asked to vote on an individual bill.

The House was asked to vote for four drafts and passed all of them. The other draft was another version of the civil partnership bill sponsored by Democrat party-list MP Issara Sereewattanakul.

The civil partnership bill of the Cabinet was passed by 229 to 166 while the Issara version sailed through 251 to 123, while the government’s bill to amend the civil code was passed 230 to 169.

Observers said the passing of the first reading of the Marriage Equality Bill was just the first hurdle. The bill is yet to be scrutinised by a special House committee along with the two civil partnership bills of the government and the Democrat MP and the civil code amendment bill.

Observers said the government may use its majority in the ad hoc House panel to change the content of the opposition’s bill during the vetting.

During the vote in support of the Marriage Equality Bill, Move Forward Party MP Natthapong Ruangpanya (Bangkok) sought permission from Deputy House Speaker Supachai Phosu, who chaired the meeting, to show video clips of public comments in support of the bill. But Supachai did not allow the video to be played.

Move Forward MP Rangsiman Rome (party-list) said during the debate that the Marriage Equality Bill would not make the country poorer, but it would create sexual equality.

“I don’t understand the coalition whip’s resolution to kill it,” Rangsiman said.

He said if the House failed to pass it, the people in the future would demand an explanation from the current MPs.

“Please pass the bill and do the right thing because you all cannot stop the changing trend of this world anymore,” Rangsiman said.

While opposition MPs debated in support of the bill, Move Forward lawmakers waved multicoloured flags and they also held a banner, saying “we are everywhere” in English and “marriage quality” in Thai.

Natthanun Assawalertsak, an official of the legal drafting committee of the Council of State, represented the panel to defend the civil partnership bill of the government during the debate.

She said the Council of State had held public hearings and presented the results to the government. She said the council feared that the Marriage Equality Bill would lead to legal complications as it would seek to amend the civil code at the same time and it would affect several other existing pieces of law.

Natthanun said the civil partnership bill would have similar enforcement but it would cause much less legal complications than the Marriage Equality Bill.

He said his “katoey” condition was not accepted from the time he was young, so he had come to the House to propose the Marriage Equality Bill.

“Why should we move later than others? Are we afraid of progress and changes?” Tunyawaj said.

“I would like to ask the House to accept four drafts and it will become the people’s victory, not a victory of a particular party. We must not be afraid of changes. We must move forward together.”

After the vote was cast, Rangsiman posted on Twitter about being overjoyed that the bill was passed.

“But we have to monitor it during the vetting and the second and third readings [as well as during deliberations by senators],” he posted.

Pheu Thai MP Thassanee Buuranupakorn also posted on Twitter that she had voted for the bill.

“The House accepted it in principle. This was a historic milestone for Thailand to make everyone really equal,” she said.

https://www.nationthailand.com/in-focus/40016684
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Thai Parliament passes Marriage Equality and Civil Partnership draft bills in its first reading today

By Nop Meechukhun

June 15, 2022

The Marriage Equality draft bill, proposed by the oppositional Move Forward Party, passed its first reading at the parliament today, June 15th, with 210 votes in favor, 180 objections, and 12 abstentions.

A similar draft of the Civil Partnership Bill by the Ministry of Justice was also passed in the first reading with 229 votes in favor, 166 objections, and 6 abstentions. Such approvals mark a major step for LGBTQ+ equality and the legalization of same-sex unions.

Although they sound similar, the Marriage Equality and the Civil Partnership draft bills hold a slight difference in terms of the recognition of same-sex marriages. In short, the Justice Ministry’s Civil Partnership will allow same-sex individuals to register their civil partnership and defines them as civil “partners” while the Move Forward Party’s Marriage Equality will recognize them as “married” couples with the same legal privileges and rights as heterosexual married couples.

The drafts will be studied, revised, and considered by a government-appointed special committee before presenting them at second readings in the near future.

https://thepattayanews.com/2022/06/15/t ... ing-today/

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