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Thailand Becomes First Southeast Asian Nation To Legalize Same-Sex Marriage

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Thailand’s Senate has passed a landmark marriage equality law, positioning the country to become the first in Southeast Asia to recognize same-sex couples. The bill, supported by an overwhelming majority of lawmakers, is the culmination of over two decades of activism.

Once it receives royal approval and is published in the royal gazette, the law will come into force 120 days later, potentially allowing the first same-sex weddings to take place later this year. Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin celebrated the passage of the bill, vowing to continue the fight for social rights for all.

LGBT advocates hailed the decision as a significant step forward. Thailand will join Nepal and Taiwan as the only Asian countries with marriage equality legislation. Plaifah Kyoka Shodladd, a member of a parliamentary committee on same-sex marriage, expressed pride in making history, stating, “Today love triumphed over prejudice.”

The passage of the bill prompted celebrations in Thailand’s parliament, with lawmakers and activists waving rainbow flags and expressing solidarity with the LGBT community. In Chiang Mai, human rights activist Matcha Phornin, her wife Veerawan Wanna, and their adopted daughter closely followed the proceedings. Matcha expressed relief and joy, noting that the law would ensure their family’s legal protection and her daughter’s official adoption.

Known for its vibrant LGBT culture and tolerance, Thailand is a popular tourist destination. Prime Minister Srettha recently participated in Bangkok’s Pride Month parade, underscoring the country’s commitment to human rights and gender equality. The Civil Society Commission of marriage equality and LGBTQI activists praised the move, highlighting Thailand’s leadership in promoting these values in the region.

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