Politics Halts Marriage Equality in Thailand

2908772254_ff61d3607bDue to a political crisis in Thailand, the proposed marriage equality bill has been put on hold.

According to LGBT Weekly, caretaker prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra has stalled the marriage bill for an “ongoing political crisis.” If Shinawatra is found by the Constitutional Court to have abused her authority by prolonging the bill, her cabinet can be dissolved automatically.

Thailand is different than any other Asian country near it in that it markets itself as a gay-friendly tourist destination. Thailand also preforms the highest number of gender reassignment surgeries in the world.

Just a year ago transgender women had to officially claim themselves as mentally ill to avoid conscription. Also just a year ago, the bill went into the parliament to be looked at before it was pushed to the side.

Gender rights activist and founder of the Anjaree Group, Anjana Suvarnananda, said that even just since the bill has been around, she has noticed that “society is changing with parents becoming more accepting of their children identifying as gay, lesbian or transgender men and women.”

However, just because the community is more accepting, doesn’t mean the law recognizes the LGBT community.

In fact, Code 1448, outlaws unions between same-sex and transgender couples. There are also laws about the custody of children, inheritance, bank loans, insurance, transfer of property, and the taxation of families.

LGBT activists hope to change the language of the laws to “two people” instead of “men and women.”

Bangkok Post reports that there is still hope for same-sex equality in Thailand.

“Broad social acceptance of the LGBT community is clearly evident but unfortunately greater LGBT rights [are] stuck in a holding pattern, one only prolonged by the political crisis,” the website said.

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