11 July 2024

The cabinet approved the Civil Partnership Bill today (Tuesday), which, if made law, will allow a same-sex couple to register their partnership and recognises many rights and privileges enjoyed by heterosexual couples.

Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said today that the bill has already been sent to the House of Representatives to be debated in this parliamentary session, though he is not sure whether it will be on the statute within the life of this government.

He said that this bill will be deliberated in the House, in conjunction with the Move Forward party’s Marriage Equality Bill, which goes a step further in seeking to legalise same sex marriages and grant equal rights, with the government-sponsored Civil Partnership version bill being used as the basis.

He said that the original bill, which was proposed by the Justice Ministry, had been amended with input from experts in Christianity, Islam and Buddhism and fine-tuned by the Council of State before it was considered by the cabinet today.

He noted the Church has no objection to the bill, but wants the wording “married couple” to be replaced with “civil partners.”

In essence, the bill will give the same-sex couples almost the same rights and privileges as heterosexual couples. As a couple, they may adopt children, secure inheritance and engage in joint management of their assets, including property, make decisions regarding medical treatment on behalf of their partners. The minimum age for civil partnership is 17 and minors need approval from their guardians.

Upon registration, either partner will also be able to act on behalf of the other, as though they were a validly and traditionally married heterosexual couple.

The bill also includes rules on separations. Neither may get married if they have registered as civil partners. Either may file for divorce.

June is celebrated as “Pride Month” in many parts of the world, including Thailand. Bangkok held its first Pride parade, joined by thousands, last Sunday.