Currently, Thailand’s laws do not provide LGBTI+ couples with the right to marry. This contravenes Article 23 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Thailand is a state party, and the legally binding principle of non-discrimination. In March 2022, the Move Forward Party introduced to the parliament the marriage equality bill to address this issue. The marriage equality bill, or the Act for Amendment to the Civil and Commercial Code as it is formally known, if enacted, would replace the terms “husband” and “wife” with the term “spouse” in Section 1448 of Thailand’s Civil and Commercial Code. This, in effect, would provide LGBTI+ couples equal access to the right to marriage, welfare, child adoption, healthcare consent, property co-management, inheritance, and access to spousal benefits of tax deductions and government pensions.
Although the bill passed its first reading in the House of Representatives on June 15, 2022, it failed to progress to the second reading and lapsed when parliament dissolved on March 20, 2023.
Recommendations to Ensure Marriage Equality in Thailand
- Reintroduce to parliament the marriage equality bill in line with Section 147 of the Thailand Constitution.
- Approve without delay a bill in all its readings that will guarantee the right to marriage equality in Thailand.
- Accept and process without delay petitions in accordance with Section 5 of the Initiative Process Act B.E. 2564 for the parliament to consider bills that will facilitate marriage equality in Thailand.