BANGKOK — The Constitutional Court has delayed its ruling on marriage equality to December, a fresh setback to the country’s long struggle toward legalizing same sex marriage.
The top court set the new verdict date for Dec. 14. A representative for the Foundation for Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Rights and Justice, who has campaigned extensively for the rights of same sex marriage, said it was the third time the ruling was postponed.
A lawyer for the foundation, Sanya Eadjongdee, told the media that the judges did not cite any reason for the delay. He warned that the new court date is not certain either, since the court could postpone it again in December.
The group had filed a legal challenge asking the court to rule whether Section 1448 of Thailand’s Civil and Commercial Code violated the Constitution, since the section limited the definition of a marriage to consist of only a man and a woman.
The foundation said the law must also include same sex couples in order to meet the constitutional clause about equality.
If the court rules in favor of the group, Sanya said same sex couples would be able to cite the court ruling to have their marriages recognized by official registrars.
Although same sex marriage ceremonies are often performed in Thailand, the act does not hold any legal weight. Campaigners say the lack of legal recognition is proof that members of the LGBT community in Thailand are not afforded equal treatment under the law.
Some progress was achieved in recent years. In July 2020, the Cabinet endorsed a bill permitting partnership registration of same sex unions, along with legal amendments to ensure they have most, if not all, the same rights as married couples.
But many equality activists oppose the bill, on the grounds that the legislation stops short of granting all rights similar to a marriage recognized by the civil laws.