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Marriage equality 2013: Thailand pushes to legalize gay marriage

On Friday, August 23rd, 2013

Thailand gay marriageWhile many counties in Southeast Asia have laws banning homosexual relationships, Thailand has established itself as a more gay friendly country. As Reuters reports on August 21, the country may go even future by being the first Asian country to legalize gay marriage.

Thailand has already prided itself as a holiday and vacation destination for same-sex couples and by legalizing marriage in the country; it could also be a destination for weddings. Although life is less strict in Thailand than other Asian countries, same-sex couples still don’t enjoy certain rights like applying for join bank loans, medical insurance or any of the other benefits heterosexual couples enjoy because under the current Thai law same-sex unions are not recognized.

But, according to Wiratana Kalayasiri, an opposition lawmaker pushing for a new bill, a civil partnership law aiming at extending some of those same rights is in the works and can pass as soon as next year.

There are some legal road bumps, one of which is that the law would force transgender citizens to register their birth gender on their marriage certificate. Under Thai law, people are not allowed to change their gender on national identification and a new law would also change the age of consent for same-sex couples from 17 to 20. For heterosexual couples, the age of consent would remain at 17.

Another road block is that some believe Thailand may simply not be ready yet to legalize same-sex marriage. As recent as 2002, homosexuality was labeled as a mental illness in the country and was still considered a crime up until 1956. Although there is some openness and tolerance in the country, there are still social aspects that need to be improved.

Perception of LGBT characters in the entertainment industry and the overall treatment of lesbians in the country are some social impacts that require improvement. But even with those inadequacies, there is still strong hope of a civil union bill passing.

About - Tarringo T. Vaughan always believed he had a love affair with literature. One of the first pictures he saw of himself was of him at maybe the age of three or four year’s old sitting with a book in his hand. But for Tarringo, growing up in the depths of the inner city both in Boston, MA and Springfield, MA made him believe that expression through the literary voice was un-cool and unattainable. As a very quiet and shy child he learned it became very valuable in his self expression. Born in 1976, Tarringo was the first child, grandchild and nephew in a family that had grown accustomed to struggle. His mother was a teenager who quickly lost the support of my father who today he knows very little of. These aspects of his life triggered the inspiration of his pen.

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