Thailand close to legalizing same-sex marriage

Thailand close to legalizing same-sex marriage
Thailand close to legalizing same-sex marriage

Thailand has taken a step closer to marriage equality, as the lower house of parliament on Wednesday approved a second reading of a bill to allow same-sex marriage. This bill is expected to pass the Senate and receive the King's assent to become law. He was supported by all of Thailand's major parties, receiving 400 votes out of 415 MPs present, with only 10 against.

"We did this for all the Thai people, to reduce inequality in society and start to create equality," said Danuphorn Punnakanta, chairman of the parliamentary committee, before MPs voted. "I want to call on all of you to write history", he added.

The passage of this bill marks an important step towards sealing Thailand's position as one of the most liberal Asian societies on gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual (LGBT) issues, being open to coexistence with traditional and conservative Buddhist values. Thailand has long been an attractive destination for same-sex couples, thanks to a vibrant LGBT social scene for locals and expats, and campaigns to attract LGBT visitors.

This law can come into force within 120 days after royal assent. Thus, Thailand would become the third country in Asia, after Taiwan and Nepal, to legalize same-sex marriage.

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