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Thai gay rights advocates to found political party

A new political party will soon be founded in Thailand by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBY) rights advocates to give a stronger voice to their calls for equal sexual rights, according to reports.

The party, however, will be founded too late to participate in the upcoming February 2 elections.

gay rightsOrganizers stressed that the timing does not imply the LGBT’s support of postponing the election, as demanded by anti-government protesters, said reports.

“We cannot do it in time for Feb 2,” said party co-founder Chumaporn Taengkliang at Saturday meeting of members of the LGBT community.

The name of the party will be the Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression Rights Party, or the SOGIE Rights Party (SRP), according to a report in the Bangkok Post.

The party’s advocates say it will be able to draw members from both the pro-Thaksin and anti-Thaksin camps that have polarised Thai society for the past seven or eight years.

The party could also help to take Thailand beyond the coloured conflict between the two opposing camps, said Pongthorn Chanlearn, who is director of the anti-HIV and Aids advocacy group M Plus, according to reports.

The party plans to push for laws that would ensure equal treatment for people of all sexes, particularly the LGBT, whose status is still not widely accepted in Thai society, said party co-founder Patcharee Sae-eaw.

One of the current LGBT issues is a call for gay couples to have the same legal rights as married heterosexual couples, which rights advocates have already been campaigning for.

Though the party aims to deal mainly with LGBT issues, it will not ignore other issues that concern the general public, said organizers.

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