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Same-Sex Civil Partnerships


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During July of last year 2020 the Thai cabinet approved a draft civil partnership bill and an accompanying law amending parts of the Thai Civil Code —to recognize same-sex civil partnerships.

Currently the civil partnership bill is still in draft form and has yet to be vetted by the Thai Parliament before coming into law. I am looking for an update on behalf of a young couple.

 

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On 5/10/2021 at 4:12 PM, Andrew Reeve said:

During July of last year 2020 the Thai cabinet approved a draft civil partnership bill and an accompanying law amending parts of the Thai Civil Code —to recognize same-sex civil partnerships.

Currently the civil partnership bill is still in draft form and has yet to be vetted by the Thai Parliament before coming into law. I am looking for an update on behalf of a young couple.

According to the sponsors, in February it was returned for further review by the government, questioning its "necessity, religious sensitivity and sponsors actual intentions" as it has been opposed by some Muslim groups. 

 

 

It's also complicated by a separate Same-Sex Marriage Bill which takes things a lot further, whose supporters oppose the Civil Partnership Bill on the grounds it doesn't go far enough.

 

According to the Bill's sponsors it's unlikely any progress will be made before next year.

 

Hope that helps, even if it's not good news.

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On 5/10/2021 at 4:12 PM, Andrew Reeve said:

civil partnership bill and an accompanying law amending parts of the Thai Civil Code —to recognize same-sex civil partnerships.

Does that mean Thailand will recognise same sex marriage and the IO will allow marriage visas?

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1 hour ago, Santa said:

Does that mean Thailand will recognise same sex marriage and the IO will allow marriage visas?

Well as yet it is not law and by the sounds of it it will not be so for some time anyway so your question is unanswerable currently.

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9 hours ago, Santa said:

Does that mean Thailand will recognise same sex marriage and the IO will allow marriage visas?

That would be interesting.

Currently a female foreigner married to a Thai man doesn't need to provide any financial proof for an extension based on marriage. 
Would the same apply of a male same sex marriage.

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11 minutes ago, Faz said:

That would be interesting.

Currently a female foreigner married to a Thai man doesn't need to provide any financial proof for an extension based on marriage. 
Would the same apply of a male same sex marriage.

That is a can of worms, and the foreign female also gets citizenship rather easily. If that does happen then they need to redo all those those archaic roadblocks for us guys married to Thai women.

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This opens up all sorts of possibilities. What, I cannot think of at the moment.

Er, how about this one? A EU woman marries a Thai woman in Thailand, moves to Thailand and obtains a marriage visa, and then moves in with a EU man already in Thailand.

And then the EU man marries a Thai woman in Thailand for a marriage visa. A marriage visa in Thailand married to a Thai lasts a year without the need to leave the country.

Would that be advantageous?

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On 5/10/2021 at 6:58 PM, DPat said:

i wouldnt be surprised if that bill found its way to the bottom of the pile!!

It's surprising considering the diversity in Thailand.

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3 minutes ago, TobyAndrews said:

Er, how about this one? A EU woman marries a Thai woman in Thailand, moves to Thailand and obtains a marriage visa, and then moves in with a EU man already in Thailand.

Grounds for divorce.

3 minutes ago, TobyAndrews said:

And then the EU man marries a Thai woman in Thailand for a marriage visa. A marriage visa in Thailand married to a Thai lasts a year without the need to leave the country.

You mean a 1 year extension based on marriage (a permit, not a Visa).

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On 7/14/2021 at 8:30 AM, Santa said:

Does that mean Thailand will recognise same sex marriage and the IO will allow marriage visas?

That was included in the bill, so if / when it's passed, 'yes'.

 

A same sex marriage or civil partnership registered abroad would be recognised as a civil partnership in Thailand in the same way that marriages registered abroad are recognised in Thailand.

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On 7/14/2021 at 12:40 PM, Faz said:

Grounds for divorce.

You mean a 1 year extension based on marriage (a permit, not a Visa).

Except the EU woman married to a Thai woman does not divorce, but still has a one year permit.

The EU woman never marries the EU man. The EU man is already married to the Thai woman and has a one year permit . . .

If the Thai want to play sneaky so can the ferangs.

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I remember years ago a gay comedian I know of married a stripper because he wanted a council house.

The council house was only available for a married couple. There were no council houses available for singles.

They set the rules . . .

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This issue has been discussed at length in International Newspapers, including Bangkok Post.  Even some international papers and news services have carried the ongoing story, following this bill in Thailand. Colleagues in Thailand all agree that the government is taking its time. Its my sincere understanding that the government has much on its plate with covid. Many thigs have been shuffled to the back burner. But equally my colleagues all believe that eventually the government will sort out the associated civil and constitutional issues. If not for the right thing to do in Thailand but to save face after the international attention it received on the subject.

ken

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20 minutes ago, Kenneth said:

This issue has been discussed at length in International Newspapers, including Bangkok Post.  Even some international papers and news services have carried the ongoing story, following this bill in Thailand. Colleagues in Thailand all agree that the government is taking its time. Its my sincere understanding that the government has much on its plate with covid. Many thigs have been shuffled to the back burner. But equally my colleagues all believe that eventually the government will sort out the associated civil and constitutional issues. If not for the right thing to do in Thailand but to save face after the international attention it received on the subject.

ken

LGBTQ are very prominent in anti-government demos, so that could lead to one of two things:

 

Either it's fast-tracked as the government tries to get someone (anyone!) on their side and to win some international Brownie points .....

 

... or they annoy the wrong people and get side-lined to the bottom of the pending tray.

 

Who knows?

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As I understand the situation Kenneth, the Civil Partnership Bill stops short of recognising same sex marriages. It will, if it becomes law only recognise the registration of same sex unions and doesn't go as far as endorsing same sex marriage. The move though will afford many of the same rights as if married and one party must be of Thai nationality.

As Thailand has yet to legalise gender change, the Bill would only permit same sex unions among cisgender couples as well.

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Faz said:

As I understand the situation Kenneth, the Civil Partnership Bill stops short of recognising same sex marriages. It will, if it becomes law only recognise the registration of same sex unions and doesn't go as far as endorsing same sex marriage. The move though will afford many of the same rights as if married and one party must be of Thai nationality.

Correct, but there's also a Same Sex Marriage Bill that has been proposed but it hasn't been put forward for Cabinet approval yet, unlike the Civil Partnership Bill.

 

4 hours ago, Faz said:

As Thailand has yet to legalise gender change, the Bill would only permit same sex unions among cisgender couples as well.

Yes and no.

 

If only one was transgender and the other straight (say, a katoey and a cisman) they would only be eligible for a Civil Partnership in Thailand, once legalised, not marriage, as both would legally be men ...

 

...but if one was transgender and the other gay (say a katoey and a tom) they would only be eligible for marriage in Thailand as legally one would be a man and one a woman.

 

If both were transgender, though, one male and one female, they'd be entitled to a regular Thai marriage in their birth sex - Hannah Winterbourne (ex-British Army Captain) and Jake Graf (actor) are an example from the UK, so these things do happen.

 

 

Edit: The Thai Civil Partnership Bill, if passed, would also recognise Same Sex Marriages registered abroad, including Thais, but only as a Civil Partnership.

 

Whether an opposite sex Civil Partnership registered abroad (for example in the UK) is  treated as a marriage under current Thai law I don't know, but I  doubt it.

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@Stonker

Note your informative post, but in Thailand seeing is believing.
Between now and any Bill being passed the details could change several times.

I'll reserve judgement until it's passed and in black and white.

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2 hours ago, Faz said:

@Stonker

Note your informative post, but in Thailand seeing is believing.
Between now and any Bill being passed the details could change several times.

I'll reserve judgement until it's passed and in black and white.

Some, such as marriage rights for trans and gays in the circumstances I suggested, already apply and I know a few who've gone down those paths.

 

While some countries in the region have allowed foreign embassies to register civil partnerships for same sex couples under their own laws (at least one partner has to be the same nationality as the embassy, and so far no countries in the region allow their own nationals to be registered in their own country), Thailand has refused permission for embassies to do so which suggests some reticence on Thailand's part  (or the embassies in Thailand are lazier than those in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and the Philippines, which is a possibility ?).

A Brit and a Thai, for example, can register a British Civil Partnership or same-sex marriage at the British Embassy in Hanoi (and in HCMC until a few years ago) and they've been able to for the last 15 years, as they have more recently in Manila, Phnom Penh or Vientiane as well subject to certain conditions, but Thailand still refuses permission for any embassies to register Civil Partnerships or same-sex marriages.

 

Interestingly, some corporations and organisations are already voluntarily recognising foreign registered civil partnerships with Thais, for example treating foreign or Thai same-sex partners as next-of-kin for hospital visitation and legal rights and allowing them to formally register at the hospital as next-of-kin.

 

The numbers are and would be small, but so are the actual numbers involved rather than the widely assumed and accepted numbers from groups such as Stonewall, which the real numbers show are massive exaggerations.  Stonewall estimate that there are as many as 600,000 transgenders in the UK, for example, 1% of the population, while less than 6,000 have actually registered for a Gender Recognition Certificate since 2005 when it became more easily available and didn't require any GRS, suggesting it's a lot closer to a very different 0.01% of the UK's population. 

Similarly, the numbers in the UK registering same-sex Civil Partnerships and marriages have only ever been around 2% of the number of opposite-sex registrations, and given that Thais don't always register marriages I doubt there'd be the deluge here that some expect (and some are frightened of).

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I think a lot of farangs in long term relationships with Thais here don't realise how easy it is to get a Civil Partnership or same-sex marriage registered in the region (Covid aside ☺) and they're put off by the lengths needed to go to if they were to do so in their own country.

One Canadian I know of living in Pattaya with a b/f from Laos went so far as to marry his b/f's sister, whom he'd not met before, in order to pass on his pension on his demise to his b/f's family when he could just as easily have gone for a couple of short holidays with his b/f to Hanoi or Phnom Penh.

What I find most amusing, in an ironic way, are British and American vets I know who risked being court-martialed from the military for being gay throughout their service but who can now ensure that their countries will give their Thai b/f's a pension on their demise even though they're in Thailand and they may not have even met them until decades after they left the military.

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