Thai cabinet keeps marriage, brewing reform bills in deep freeze

In a move that surprised few, the cabinet today returned two popular opposition bills for parliamentary review after a month in limbo, repeating a procedural tactic to prevent them from coming to a vote.

At yesterday’s meeting, the cabinet gave specious reasons for rejecting both the Progressive Liquor and Marriage Equality bills seeking to break the monopoly grip on brewing and allow same-sex marriage, respectively.

According to government spokesperson Rachada Thanadirek, the Marriage Equality bill was deemed too similar to a Civil Partnerships bill under consideration that falls short of recognizing LGBT partnerships as marriages.

As for the Progressive Liquor Bill, which would allow people to brew alcohol and enter the competitive market, the cabinet said it was unneeded as liquor production is already permitted so long as it is not for commercial purposes.

Both bills enjoy wide public support, according to polling.

In what could have been gaslighting or candor, social development and human security chief Juti Krairerk said they would not have endorsed the popular liquor bill because it was a “political” move by the opposition to gain public support.

The back-and-forth punting from committees controlled by the ruling coalition and cabinet have created a legislative purgatory where bills never make it to a vote.

When the Move Forward Party introduced the two bills early last month, they were kicked to the cabinet for review. Now they are heading back to parliament, where they will likely be shelved two months before being read again and, in all likelihood, punted back to the cabinet.

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