Thailand Passes Bill to Legalise Same-Sex Marriage

  • 19 Jun 2024

On June 18th Thailand‘s Senate passed the final reading of a marriage equality law, paving the way for the country to become the third territory in Asia to recognise same-sex couples after Nepal and Taiwan.

Key Points

  • In South East Asia Thailand became first country to pass same sex marriage.
  • The legislation will be passed to King Maha Vajiralongkorn for assent, a formality that is widely expected to be granted.
  • It will come into force 120 days after it is published in the royal gazette.
  • The legislation labels marriage as a partnership between two individuals and change references to “men”, “women”, “husbands” and “wives” to gender-neutral terms.
  • The Bill will also grant LGBTQ couples inheritance and adoption rights equal to those of heterosexual marriages.
  • In March 2024, the lower house approved the bill nearly unanimously with only 10 of the 415 sitting lawmakers voting against it.
  • In 2020, the Constitutional Court of Thailand ruled that the current matrimonial law, which recognises only heterosexual couples, was Constitutional. But it also recommended that the legislation be expanded to ensure minorities’ rights.
  • In December 2023, the National Assembly approved the first readings of four draft bills on same-sex marriage and tasked a committee to consolidate them into a single draft.