Set a New Precedent for LGBTQ+ Rights in Southeast Asia

Target: Pornpetch Wichitcholchai, President of the Senate of Thailand

Goal: Demand that Thailand legalize same-sex unions.

Thailand’s new government has started to debate legislation that would allow same-sex couples to manage both their assets and liabilities jointly, and to give and receive inheritance. The proposed bill would also enable partners to act as legal guardians, in the case of one of them being deemed incompetent. It is likely that the proposed minimum age for a same-sex union will be raised from 17, which is the legal age for marriage in Thailand, to 19. The requirement that at least one partner be a Thai citizen might be dropped as well.

Several LGBTQ+ rights groups are convinced the bill will pave the way for achieving full equal rights down the road, while giving them time to prepare for the much longer fight of altering the Civil Code itself. “A life partnership bill, according to the history of so many countries, is the foundation to proceed to the amendment of the marriage law eventually,” said Rapeepun Jommaroeng, an adviser to the Rainbow Sky Association of Thailand. “We can study about the limitations and advantages. We can study about, if they have kids, what would happen. So it gives us the additional platform to move forward,” he said.

According to local media, Justice Minister Somsak Thepsutin said at a recent forum in Bangkok that the bill’s fate would be “decided by public sentiment”. Fortunately, people seem to be accepting of the proposed measure. An online survey of over 1,000 people via YouGov published in February found strong support for same-sex civil unions in the country. While 63 percent of respondents supported the idea, 11 percent were opposed. The rest chose not to share an opinion. Sign below to voice your support for same-sex couples.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear President Wichitcholchai,

Despite Thailand’s relatively progressive status regarding LGBTQ+ inclusion, prejudice is still widespread. Members of the community often face discrimination when they apply for jobs, buy or rent properties, and seek legal protection, among other instances. Under a proposed bill, same-sex unions could be legalized, thus reducing homophobia over time, while providing equal treatment to a certain extent.

LGBTQ+ individuals need to be treated as equals by the state. I urge you to advocate for acceptance and change.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Yannis Papanastasopoulos


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