The Thai Ministry of Justice announced on Wednesday, September 18, that it would push draft legislation on civil unions for same-sex couples. Working with the House of Representatives Committee on Laws, Justice and Human Rights, the bill would be tabled in the Thai parliament.
Panel on same-sex civil unions at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of
Thailand on July 17, 2013. Speakers: LGBT activist Anjana Suvarnananda,
Danai Linjongrat of the Rainbow Sky Association, UNESCO Bangkok's
Prempreeda Pramoj Na Ayutthaya and MP Wiratana Kalayasiri.
Photos: Facebook/ Anifr Aquino Kaewwaen
The announcement, by the Rights and Liberties Protection Department of the Ministry of Justice. was made in a press conference in Bangkok. The civil unions bill is one of three reforms being promoted. A second bill deals with the criminalisation of torture, implementing the UN’s 1984 Convention against Torture. A third bill protects farmers undertaking contract labour.
Police Colonel Narat Sawettanant, head of the Department, noted that at present same-sex couples do not have access to certain welfare, tax and pension benefits enjoyed by married couples.
He called on supporters to sign a petition indicating their support for the reform. He hoped for 10,000 signatures. That number would ensure that the proposal would be debated in the Thai parliament, and show popular support for the proposal.
Douglas Sanders is a retired Canadian law professor, living in Thailand. He can be contacted at email@example.com.