11 July 2024

Thailand’s Cabinet approved the Civil Partnership Bill and amendments to the Civil and Commercial Code today (Wednesday), both of which aim to legalize same sex partnerships.

The bill defines partners as couples of the same sex by birth, who register for a union in accordance with this bill.

Highlights of the bill are:

  • Consenting same sex couples, who want to register their partnership, must be at least 17 years old and at least one must be a Thai national
  • In case the same sex couple are minors, they must have the consent of their parents, guardians or the court. After the registration of the partnership, the minors will be regarded as adults
  • Either member of the same sex partnership can act on behalf of the other, as with a heterosexual married couple.
  • A same sex couple can adopt a child
  • In case one of the partners dies, the survivor has the same rights and duties as a surviving heterosexual spouse

Proposed by the Ministry of Justice, the Civil Partnership Bill is intended to recognize the union of same-sex couples, to ensure equality for people of all genders.

Instead of being warmly welcomed, however, the bill has come under heavy criticism. A “No to Civil Partnership Bill” hashtag was posted on social media and has subsequently attracted many likes.

Critics point out that the bill does not ensure the same rights as those enjoyed by heterosexual married couples and it does not recognize engagement of same sex couples.