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ResourcesFamily LawMarriage RegistrationWill Thailand Legalize Same Sex Civil Unions by the End of the Year?

Will Thailand Legalize Same Sex Civil Unions by the End of the Year?

Transcript of the above video:

In this video today as the title suggests we're going to be discussing same-sex civil unions specifically here in the Kingdom of Thailand as there has been some recent news which is rather encouraging for those folks who are interested in this subject generally.

Headline from the Bangkok Post,Headline:  Same Sex Civil Partnership Law Hope for End-of-year. This was published May 5th, 2018. Quoting directly "the French Model” will be adopted for the new law allowing same-sex civil partnerships which is hoped to have come into effect by the end of the year according to a senior government official. Kerdchoke Kasemwongjit, Director General of the Department of Rights and Liberties Protection under the Justice Ministry which is sponsoring the draft law, said the bill has been drawn up to ensure compliance with the country's national human rights plan which took effect in 2014. Mr. Kerdchoke said that the meeting reach the conclusion that the legal framework will likely be modeled on the French one in which same-sex couples will initially be allowed to enter into civil partnerships before the further step of fully legalizing a marriage is taken he said." Quoting further, "even though people of diverse sexual orientation have gained wider public recognition in Thailand, a country known for its tolerance of people of all sexualities, the rights are still not afforded full legal recognition he said.  Mr. Vitit said that at this stage, Thailand is gradually orienting towards the registration of civil partnerships rather than taking the larger step of legalizing same-sex marriages.”

First off, those who are interested in this please take a look at this article directly. Again, Headline: Same Sex Civil Partnerships Law Hope for End-of-year May 5th, 2018, as I paraphrased a lot of the article and there is a little bit more nuance in there. But what can we take away from this strictly from a legal standpoint? Well, it seems that the authorities here in the Kingdom are taking substantial measures toward recognition of same-sex unions. Again they are kind of, I don't want to say behind, because there is no real way of comparing different jurisdictions that way, but this stuff happened about 18, 20 years ago, or started happening in the UK, various European jurisdictions such as the French model which they bring up in the article; this stuff started about 20 years ago over there. The culmination, especially in the United States, sort of ended with the Windsor Decision of the US Supreme Court which resulted in full recognition of same-sex marriage in the United States of America pursuant to the provisions of the Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution. Over here it would seem that they are taking much more gradualist approach to civil unions presumably seeing recognition at the end of this year is sort of a baby step on the way toward full legal marriage recognition pursuant to the laws of the Kingdom of Thailand. But that being said, as Thailand is a civil law system, this civil union recognition, this is a big step; this is substantial. As it is noted in the article and it should be noted further, Thailand is a very tolerant country with respect to its attitude towards the couplings that people want to engage in, it's attitude toward same-sex couples, its attitude towards the transgender; quite frankly are all very, very progressive in sort of a global sense. That being said Thailand sort of remains institutionally, and I think paradigmatically, a rather conservative culture and for that reason the legal structures have not sort of caught up to the progressive nature, the tolerant nature of the people as a whole if you will. So I think this is a good step. It definitely deals with things like next of kin status with respect to Wills and Estates, medical issues which may come up in the event of one same-sex partner falling ill in the Kingdom and another same-sex partner under the current legal framework doesn't have a lot of rights with respect to that other partner barring becoming a power of attorney or something. A civil union would create some rights and benefits that same-sex couples just simply do not have under the current legal framework.

So how this is all going to play out remains to be seen. I am hoping we will see this enacted by the end of the year. I think it is a good solid step in the right direction legally and I also think it fully reflects the way that most folks here in Thailand think of the matter so how this will ultimately play out remains to be seen but we are hopeful and we will make another video on this channel, or more videos on this channel as this issue evolves.