Connect with us


Will Thailand pass the Life Partnership Bill?




PHOTO: World Nomads

As Thai legislators mull the passing of a Life Partnership Bill, allowing LGBT people to not-quite-get-married but have a legally-binding civil partnership, the attitudes of what Thai people really think about the issue remains unclear. Like much Thai-thinking, the issue has nuances that non-Thais would find difficult to fathom. Unlike other countries there hasn’t been a lot of public debate over the issue

From the outside, on an ephemeral tourist level, Thailand appears to be the bastion of the free and easy lifestyle – the bar-girls (and bar boys) in the short shorts, the ladyboy shows, the delight at having a ‘flamboyant’ member of the family, the TV soap operas where every show has at least one LGBT cast member. From the outside it looks like Thailand is all red, white and blue (the flag) with a shade of pink.

But when you scratch the surface conservative attitudes towards GLBT issues still run deep. There is still ‘much shame’ attached to having a gay member of the family and many, many young gay men for example would never contemplate coming out to their family or friends for fear of ostracism or loss of employment opportunities and promotions.

This subtle polarising towards LGBT issues and the community’s requests for same-sex marriage in the Land of Smiles makes the debate at the top level very difficult to predict. There are no loud street protests, media debate or strongly held opinion shared much in public.

Since the legislation was announced there was a lot of excitement about Thailand, finally, falling in behind other progressive nations that had enacted laws and embraced same-sex marriage.

Reality sinks in.

The proposed same-sex marriage law is likely to be turned down due to conservative lawmakers dominating the legislative system, while younger people, who are generally more liberal towards LGBT rights groups, criticised the Life Partnership Bill as discriminating against some other sexually diverse people

A sub-comittee met yesterday to review the Life Partnership Bill at the Justice Ministry yesterday, where an intense debate raged on the issue of same-sex marriage legalisation in Thailand.

UN Development Programme officer for LGBTIQ (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Intersex Queer) rights Supanee Pongruangphan said that from the study of the Life Partnership Bill, it could be concluded that it was very hard to settle the issue to suit current Thai society. Supanee pointed out that though conservative values in Thai society were not the only problem for passing this law, the opinion of the conservative members in the country’s law-making machinery was making it hard to get approval for same-sex marriage legalisation.

“Most of the NLA and Council of State members still disagree with same-sex marriage, as they are from the old generation who mostly have conservative ideas and they may believe that this law is not for the benefit of the majority in society,” she said.

“Even though many older generations are against the idea of gay marriage, it has been found that the younger generations are more open and liberal to this idea. So I suggest that the creation of a family law for the LGBTIQ group of people should be done on the foundation that the law should benefit the majority of the society, including the LGBTIQ group.”

Chumaporn Taengkliang, the LGBTIQ rights campaigner from Togetherness for Equality and Action Group, however, stressed that the current Life Partnership Bill was not sufficient to ensure gender equality, as same-sex couples would still not get the same rights as heterosexual couples if this law were passed.

The Life Partnership Bill is currently in the process of being reviewed by the relevant agencies and stakeholders, while the Rights and Liberties Protection Department has said it is working to complete the passing of the law by the end of this year.

Netizens have had their say. This one from a long-term expat…

“I have always found that one of Thailand’s great strengths and attractions is a ‘live and let live’ attitude towards personal matters; what other country has a national beauty pageant for ladyboys and/or has a good chuckle at the ‘beauties’ who show up for the draft?

This tolerance is a good thing; it would be a shame if it was ruined by God-botherers/morality-crusaders as in so many other countries.

Letting gay people get married harms no one. And if something harms no one, what is the justification for not doing it?

Lead the way Thailand.”

SOURCES: The Thaiger, The Nation, Thai Visa


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Thailand's largest online portal for news and information.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand8 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Thai PM sued, 4 phase Reopening plan | September 28

Thailand8 hours ago

List of disease restrictions by colour-coded zoning

Coronavirus (Covid-19)9 hours ago

Tuesday Covid Update: 9,489 new cases; provincial totals

Sponsored13 hours ago

St. Andrews International School, joins global event for children’s wellbeing

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Thailand10 hours ago

Alleged drug dealer busted in Chon Buri, police seize drugs and gun

Crime11 hours ago

Nearly 200 police have been found guilty of misconduct this year

Thailand11 hours ago

Legalising prostitution, Beautiful Temples, Thai Taxi’s | Thaiger Bites | Ep. 27

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand12 hours ago

Army ranger suspected of killing his wife and mother-in-law surrenders to authorities in Songkhla

Thailand13 hours ago

6 dead and 30 provinces affected by topical storm ‘Dianmu’

Thailand14 hours ago

Kanchanaburi experiences earthquake so minor hardly anyone notices it

Thailand14 hours ago

Thailand Top Stories | Emergency decree extended, Quarantine waved | September 28

Thailand15 hours ago

Thailand’s reopening divided into 4 phases

Thailand15 hours ago

Thailand Restrictions waived Nov 1, Pornography law amendments | Good Morning Thailand | Ep. 97

Coronavirus World15 hours ago

Restrictions tightened in Singapore amid surge in Covid-19 infections

Thailand15 hours ago

Pattaya mayor confirms Pattaya reopening postponed to November

Coronavirus (Covid-19)16 hours ago

Thai PM hit with 50-million-baht lawsuit from angry restaurant operators

Thailand2 weeks ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism7 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11