Civil Unions Law Sent to Thai Legislature

People celebrate the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia – aka IDAHOT – in 2017 at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre.

BANGKOK — Legal recognition of civil unions moved forward Tuesday with the interim cabinet’s approval.

At its final meeting of 2018, the cabinet signed off on a draft civil partnership bill which would make Thailand the first country in all of Asia, to afford status and legal protections to same-sex couples.

The cabinet endorsed the bill on the same day the interim assembly unanimously passed a law to legalize medical use of marijuana and recreational use of kratom.

Under the bill’s provisions, couples would need to be over 20 and at least one would have to be a Thai citizen, according to Nathporn Chatusripitak, a spokesman for Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak. Partnerships would be dissolved by divorce, court order or death.

Nathporn said the bill will go to the National Legislative Assembly for debate. If passed, it would become law 120 days after it is announced in the Royal Gazette.