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Group Wants Marriage Law To Change Gender Specifications

Samui Times Editor



Group Wants Marriage Law To Change Gender Specifications | Samui Times
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A gender equality activist group is pushing for Thailand’s Civil and Criminal Code to include LGBT language to allow marriage between same-sex couples.

The Foundation for the SOGI Rights and Justice, a group advocating for gender equality, is looking to convince the Constitutional Court to give LGBT couples more rights in the kingdom.

Pongsathorn Chanluen, vice-chairman of the foundation, yesterday requested the Office of Ombudsman to petition the Constitutional Court in the hope of amending Section 1448 of the Civil and Criminal Code, which stipulates that marriage can take place only when “a man and woman” are over the age of 17, adding, however, the court may in some cases allow couples to marry before reaching that age.

Mr Pongsathorn said that because of the term “a man and woman”, same-sex couples cannot register their marriage, which prevents them from gaining access to government welfare for married couples.

Mr Pongsathorn said the law clashes with Section 30 of the constitution, which was enacted in 2017, and emphasises equality without discrimination.

Many same-sex couples have spent their lives together and intend to get their marriages registered, but no legislation has permitted them to do so, he said.

Mr Pongsathorn said Section 1448’s “man and woman” term must be altered, which could be a better option to give same-sex couples more rights than the current Civil Partnership Act (CPA) the Justice Ministry is working on.

“As I participated in the drafting of the CPA, I found that it might turn them into second-class citizens,” he said. “Certain rights defined for same-sex couples, notably about government welfare, are different from that of straight couples.”

He said under the current CPA draft when a man works for the government and his husband works in a private company, the latter would not qualify for marriage benefits.

If there’s an accident, same-sex couples would not even be allowed to sign off on medical treatments unlike straight couples, he said.


SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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