Thailand Set to Become First Country in Southeast Asia to Legalize Same-Sex Unions

It could also be the second jurisdiction in Asia to to do so.
IMAGE UNSPLASH/Peter Hershey

In what would be a first in the Southeast Asian region, Thailand ratified a bill that could soon legalize same-sex unions in the country.

Cabinet officials had sought out guidance from LGBTQIA+ and religious groups for the drafting of the legislation. None have objected to the proposal so far, according to Spokesperson Ratchada Thanadirek.

The bill, however, doesn't exactly endorse same-sex marriages. But it should recognize same-sex unions' ability to adopt children and co-manage assets and liabilities. It should also provide couples with inheritance claims.

Now, it is subject to the Parliament for approval and enactment into law. If that happens, Thailand will only be the second jurisdiction in Asia to recognize same-sex unions after Taiwan did so back in 2019.

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In the Philippines' case, there are two pending house bills that recognize civil partnership of couples regardless of their gender. These are House Bills 1357 and 2264, which are both known as the Civil Partnership Act. Under these bills, couples are granted all benefits and protections in a marriage under existing laws.

Same-sex unions would also be given the right to adopt children and be recognized by the state as their parents. HB 2264, meanwhile, provides civil partnerships with inheritance rights over properties. Couples would even get the same privileges in terms of insurance memberships, including benefits from the Social Security System (SSS) and Government Service Insurance System (GSIS).

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