Tiny steps for LGBTI rights

Tiny steps for LGBTI rights

Just about three months ago, the Justice Ministry's official in charge of the matter promised a new bill to improve the battered rights of same-sex couples. Since then, the government and the Rights and Liberties Protection Department in particular has been tight-lipped. A bill that demands public input and debate has received neither.

The promise for action came early in July from Pitikan Sithidej, chief of the department. Even then, her proposed timeline was surprising. According to Ms Pitikan, she intended then -- and presumably now -- to sign off on a "Civil Partnership Bill" within two weeks from today. She wants it sent straight to the cabinet and then, if the government approves, just as precipitously to the National Legislative Assembly (NLA).

The public, then, is purposely excluded from one of the most controversial laws dealing with both human and civil rights. Bureaucrats and politicians may have a vision of pressing this bill into law without public scrutiny. It not only is a terrible and arrogant idea, but also impossible. A law of this importance cannot -- and should not -- proceed without maximum input from the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community and the affected public.

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Bangkok Post editorial column

These editorials represent Bangkok Post thoughts about current issues and situations.

Email : anchaleek@bangkokpost.co.th

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