Thailand’s LGBTQ couples push for marriage equality on Valentine’s Day

Thailand’s LGBTQ couples pushed for marriage equality on Valentine’s Day yesterday.

The 128 LGBTQ couples in Bangkok and Ayutthaya took part in a marriage registration campaign. Dusit District Office and Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University held the campaign at Suan Sunandha Palace, which was decorated for the event.

Authorities are hoping that this campaign is a starting point in passing the Gender Recognition Bill, which would make it easier for people to come out publicly.

The couples, including one that had been together for eight years, said they deserved the same legal rights as heterosexual couples.

While the campaign provides legal support to couples waiting for the bill to pass, it also promotes tourism. Attendees were treated to rare royal desserts and souvenirs, which helped promote the region.

Even outside of the campaign, district offices throughout Bangkok provided marriage registration services to couples on Valentine’s Day. In Ayutthaya, the Wat Maha Chulalongkorn Rachuthit hosted the registration of seven LGBTQ+ couples and 14 straight couples.

Niwat Rungsakorn, the provincial governor, served as host, with representatives of the provincial authorities also in attendance, Bangkok Post reported. The event was held to promote social equality, which many hope will eventually lead to legal equality for LGBTQ+ couples.

Thailand is known for its relatively liberal and accepting attitudes towards the LGBTQ+ community. But there are issues beneath the surface.

Whilst Thailand is seen from the outside as a broad and diverse population, accepting of its LGBT community, there remains fierce aversion by older sections of Thai society, conservative MPs and religious organisations.

In Thailand, same-sex couples are unable to be legally married under Thai law. “Marriage can only be contracted between a man and a woman,” according to Thailand’s Civil and Commercial Code.

Despite Thailand’s reputation for sexual freedom, LGBTQ+ couples are still fighting an uphill battle. On Valentine’s Day, known as the world’s day of love, Thailand’s LGBTQ+ community called attention to the challenges it faces.

Central Thailand NewsThailand News

Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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