Marriage rights for same-sex couples will be expanded under legal amendments approved by the cabinet today, but would still fall short of full parity with those enjoyed by heterosexual couples.
The changes to Civil Partnership Act would for the first time allow couples to register their marriages, but only as “partners” rather than spouses. It would also expand adoption and inheritance rights.
Government spokesperson Ratchada Thanadirek announced today that the cabinet had endorsed the changes. The bill will next be put to a vote in the parliament.
Marriage equality advocates were disappointed when the military government enacted civil partnerships in late 2018 that fell short of granting equal rights and status.
Under the 2018 law, anyone of any gender identity over 17 can enter civil unions which come with the right to make medical decisions on behalf of their partners, as well as joint property ownership, inheritance, and the legal authority to make decisions over shared assets. One partner must be a Thai national.
While the revised version would explicitly add adoption rights, it still excludes some state benefits.
While Ratchada described the act as a “milestone” for citizens of every gender, some LGBT activists and supporters say full equality must be achieved.
Some have criticized the bill for denigrating the LGBT community as “second-class” citizens.
“Civil partnerships aren’t quality. It’s not #MarriageEquality,” Twitter user @Awesomemelanin_ wrote. “We don’t want to remain second-class citizens under better conditions. We want EQUALITY!”
“It’s a civil partnership, everyone, not same-sex marriage in Thailand. This is disappointing to be honest,” wrote @imafangirluv.