Parliament Rejects Draft Bill for Gender Recognition and Rights

On Wednesday, Parliament turned down the draft bill aimed at the recognition, titling, and protection of gender-diverse individuals, with 154 votes in support, 257 against, one abstention, and one vote left uncast.

The proposal, put forward by Move Forward party-listed MP Tunyawaj Kamolwongwat and his colleagues, underscored the lack of specific legislation to acknowledge and protect the dignity, rights, freedom, and equality of people with diverse gender identities.

This proposed law intended to enable transgender and non-binary people to choose their desired titles on legal documents, instead of being forced to use the titles assigned at birth.

Tunyawaj mentioned that obliging gender-diverse people to use birth-assigned titles in legal documents poses challenges in their self-representation and sexual identity determination, significantly affecting their daily lives.

Thirachai Saenkaew, Pheu Thai MP for Udon Thani, expressed concerns that allowing changes in titles could lead to a rise in criminal activities such as scamming and sexual assaults.

He further observed that such legislation could complicate the current correctional system’s practice of separating prisoners based on their birth-assigned gender.

Anusorn Eiamsa-ard, a Pheu Thai party-listed MP and a member of the LGBTQ+ community, advocated for pride in one’s gender identity irrespective of legal titles.

Demonstrating his pride and resilience, he sang “Kra Thoei Pra Thuang,” a song affirming his identity as a gay man in the face of social mockery and ridicule.

Taopiphop Limjittrakorn, a Move Forward MP for Bangkok and supporter of the bill, urged his colleagues to approve the bill’s first reading, emphasizing its inclusive and flexible principles.

Pantin Nuanjerm, also a Move Forward MP for Bangkok, argued that the issue of individuals disguising their identity for criminal purposes should be tackled by crime suppression agencies, not by denying transgender people the right to change their legal titles.