House Passes First Reading of Draft Same-Sex Marriage Bills

The House’s approval of four bills aimed at amending the Civil and Commercial Code to legalize same-sex marriage in the country during their initial reading has been positively received, as stated by government spokesperson Chai Watcharonke.

These bills propose changes to 68 sections of the Civil and Commercial Code to modify terminology, promoting gender equality and diversity. The bills garnered 369 out of 380 votes, with one abstention, last Friday. They are set for a second reading.

On a platform, formerly known as Twitter, Mr. Chai shared that a key aspect of the bills is to recognize marriage based on individuals’ gender identity.

The government had earlier committed to supporting gender equality, not only legally but also in pro-LGBT events like Pride.

In a meeting with the CEO of InterPride, the organizers of Pride parades, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin explored the possibility of Bangkok hosting the World Pride Event in 2028, as mentioned by Mr. Chai.

Pheu Thai MP for Kanchanaburi and ad hoc committee member Akkaranan Kankittinan disclosed plans to form a committee within 60 days, although its initial meeting date has yet to be decided.

Parit Wacharasindhu of the Move Forward Party views the bills’ approval as a testament to effective collaboration on gender issues across political divides.

He emphasized the significance of these bills in granting marriage rights equally to all citizens, not just specific gender groups.

“Approving the four bills during the first reading is a sign that… people can rely on everyone in the House,” Mr Parit said.

However, some experts have pointed out the need for further clarification on certain conditions in the bills.

Law lecturer Nada Chaiyajit from Mae Fah Luang University compared the government’s version with an earlier bill by the MFP, noting potential differences in legal terms.

She suggested that the Interior Ministry, as proposed in the MFP’s bill, should implement the law rather than the Justice Ministry.

Rainbow Sky Association of Thailand President Kittinun Daramadhaj called for fairness in the final version of the legislation.

He noted Thailand’s potential to lead in gender equality in the region, where many neighboring countries still struggle with LGBT rights acceptance.