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Thailand Likely To Legalize Same-Sex Marriage After Bill Passes In Parliament 

Lawmakers in the lower house of parliament in Thailand have approved a marriage equality bill that would make the nation the first south-east Asian country to legalize same-sex marriages for partners of any gender. 

400 out of 415 lawmakers voted in favor of the bill on Wednesday. Video footage was released from inside parliament after the decision showing people standing and applauding the vote. 

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Danuphorn Punnakanta, a spokesperson for the majority Pheu Thai Party and president of the committee overseeing the marriage equality bill, posted to social media after the vote celebrating the bill’s passing. 

“The right to equality in Thailand has begun today. It is the beginning, and further legislation for people’s rights and freedom will follow.”

The bill will now need to be approved by the senate and endorsed by the Thai king. After the endorsement, the bill would be published in the Royal Gazette and become law after 60 days. If this were to happen, Thailand would join Taiwan and Nepal as the only Asian countries to legalize same-sex marriage. 

“Today is considered a good sign that Thailand will be the first country in south-east Asia to have equal marriage laws. It raises the level of Thailand in the eyes of the world,” The Pheu Thai post stated.  

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Mookdapa Yangyuenpradorn, human rights associate at Fortify Rights, said in a statement:

“Thailand is close to becoming the first country in south-east Asia to ensure marriage rights for LGBTI+ couples, which is a cause for celebration; however, certain shortcomings in the current draft must be addressed to ensure all rights extend to LGBTI+ persons.”

“Before the final reading of the bill by the lower house, it is imperative that parliamentarians eliminate the presence of gendered language in the current draft that may limit rights for LGBTI+ persons, particularly rights for LGBTI+ couples with children,” Yangyuenpradorn said. 

“[Punnakanta’s committee in charge of consolidating the draft bills] considered that some sections of the motion contain wording that is inconsistent with the current social context. Therefore, the wording has been adjusted to be appropriate for gender equality,” according to the Pheu Thai post.