One step forward, two steps back

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11/28/2021

Once again, those waiting on news of marriage equality in Thailand were met with disappointment. Let’s talk about Section 1448 of the Civil and Commercial Code first. It states that only a man and a woman over 17 are allowed to be legally married. This month, this law went to the Constitutional Court, where it was to be decided whether it was unconstitutional. And it was concluded that this law, which only recognises heterosexual relationships, isn’t against the Thai constitution. The only consolation was the ruling also said that parliament, cabinet and related government agencies should concoct a law to recognise the rights of LGBTI. So, possibly, the prospect of same-sex marriage in Thailand may manifest into a separate law or something along the line of a civil partnership bill. However, it won’t be “marriage”, at least not in the same sense that heterosexual marriage has been recognised. Thai LGBTIs might be getting something at last and although it’s better than nothing — especially more than what people have now — it is not equality. It’s a shame the Constitutional Court made this decision. But, honestly, not many are actually surprised by it. For some reason, a same-sex relationship can’t be accepted in the same way and at the same level as legal recognition of a heterosexual relationship in this country. What is preventing policymakers from taking marriage equality all the way?

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