Senate accepts same-sex marriage bill in first reading

Senate accepts same-sex marriage bill in first reading

A participant in the Bangkok Pride parade on June 4, 2023, supporting gender recognition, same-sex marriage, the rights of sex workers and universal welfare for LGBTG+ individuals. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)
A participant in the Bangkok Pride parade on June 4, 2023, supporting gender recognition, same-sex marriage, the rights of sex workers and universal welfare for LGBTG+ individuals. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)

The same-sex marriage bill cruised through the first reading in the Senate on Tuesday, was referred to a vetting committee and is expected back on the floor in July.

The House of Representatives passed the bill, which supports gender equality, on March 27.

The Senate on Tuesday voted 147-1, with seven abstentions, to accept the bill. The debate was then adjourned for committee stages.

The Senate is going into recess and the vetted legislation is expected to be returned for passage at the next session in July.

Senators agreed in principle to the bill, but some were concerned about issues such as necessary amendments to related laws once it becomes law. 

Senator Piyachat Wanchaleom, a member of the  committee on law, justice and police affairs, said more time may be needed for the law amendment period, which requires a thorough study by all affected state agencies.

Once it becomes law, Thailand will be the first country in Southeast Asia to allow same-sex marriage and only the third in Asia, after Taiwan and Nepal.

The bill could take effect within 120 days of royal endorsement.

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