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Thailand Parliament to debate ‘gay marriage’ bill

Thailand Parliament to debate ‘gay marriage’ bill

Thailand’s government is preparing to review a ‘gay marriage’ bill in coming months.

Naras Savestanan, the director general of the Rights and Liberties Protection Department, announced in a press conference yesterday: ‘We will put forward the same-sex civil-union bill in Parliament.’

He said, under the bill, same-sex civil unions would become the legal equivalent of a marriage of a straight couple.

As such, same-sex couples would receive the same rights and benefits as heterosexual couples including ‘tax benefits, pension benefits and more’.

Thailand’s Committee on Legal Affairs, Justice and Human Rights took up the issue of legal recognition for same-sex relationships in fall 2012. Since then, the government has invited civil society representatives to advise on an information committee and held numerous public hearings to debate the legislation.

Accompanied by Viroon Phuensaen, the chair of the House committee on justice and human rights, Savestanan encouraged supporters of the gay marriage bill sign an additional petition to demonstrate public opinion supports the legalization of same-sex marriage in the country.

According to Thailand’s The Nation, Savestanan also introduced two other bills at yesterday’s press conference, one for harsher penalties to officials involved in tourture and another for contracted farmers to receive better protections.