Thailand may become the first southeast Asian country to legalize same-sex marriage after Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said the government would submit a new bill for cabinet review on Oct. 31.
The bill would officially legalize same-sex marriage throughout Thailand, according to Bloomberg. Currently in Thailand same-sex couples and heterosexual couples are granted the same rights, however, only heterosexual couples can get legal recognition for their marriages.
Prime Minister Thavisin is hopeful that the new bill will spread equality in Thailand. According to eTurbo News Thavisin said “I see this (bill) as important in order for society to be more equal.” He was elected under the Pheu Thai Party, a political party in Thailand which openly supports the expansion LGBTQ+ rights. During campaigns the party has stated it will promote Thailand as a global LGBTQ+ destination.
Thai lawmakers also passed four different laws concerning same-sex unions. These four laws worked to grant same-sex couples equal rights to heterosexual couples, but fell short of granting same-sex couples rights to legalized marriage. But the future looks bright for the large queer community in Thailand.
Thailand has long been considered one of the most LGBTQ-friendly countries in Southeast Asia, and should it legalize same-sex marriage it will be the second Asian country to do so following Taiwan.
Featured Image: Celebrating Pride in Bangkok (Photo by Chayanit Itthipongmaetee)