A Rainbow Umbrella March held by activists in Bangkok in 2010
as they read out their demands to the government.
More than 200 people on Friday attended the first public hearing held to discuss the possibility of a civil partnership bill that would allow same-sex couples equal marriage rights, according to the Bangkok Post.
The meeting was jointly held by the Rights and Liberties Protection Department and the House committee on Legal Affairs, Justice, and Human Rights; and was held Chandrakasem Rajabhat University in Bangkok.
The Post reports:
If the bill becomes law, it would be the first of its kind in Thailand.
The House committee chaired by Pol Gen Viroon Phuensaen, a Pheu Thai Party-list MP, started drafting the bill a year ago after receiving a complaint from a gay male couple. The couple said they had been denied a marriage certificate.
Three more public hearings will take place at Chiang Mai University on Friday, Khon Kaen University on Feb 22 and Prince of Songkhla University on March 1, respectively.
Opinions from the public will be gathered and used to amend the bill before being proposed to the cabinet for further consideration.
If the cabinet rejects the bill, the supporters have pledged to collect 10,000 names of eligible voters or at least 20 members of the House of Representatives to forward to parliament for consideration.
The bill would give same-sex couples the same marriage rights as other couples, said Setthawut Rugsujitrat, a participant at the public hearing.
However, Mr Setthawut said getting the bill passed will be tough in this country's traditional society.
Pol Gen Viroon added that marriage in Thailand will continue to be for a man and a woman only, and the Civil and Commercial Code which governs marriage would not be amended.
Read more in The Bangkok Post.