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Legal, LGBTQIA

Monash expert: Thailand first South-East Asian country to legalise same sex marriage

Monash University 2 mins read

Thailand's Senate has approved a bill legalising same sex marriage in the South-East Asian country. A Monash expert is available to talk about what this means for LGBTIQA+ rights in the country.

 

Professor Paula Gerber, Monash Faculty of Law

Contact: +61 3 9903 4840 or media@monash.edu

Read more of Professor Gerber’s commentary at Monash Lens 

The following can be attributed to Professor Gerber: 

 

“Thailand has become the first country in South-East Asia to allow same sex couples to marry, and only the second in Asia (after Taiwan). This change in law was possible after last year's election which saw the decade-long military government replaced by a more progressive, democratic coalition government. The new Prime Minister, Srettha Thavisin, has been an advocate for the rights of LGBTIQA+ people and the legalisation of marriage equality has been welcomed by the LGBTIQA+ community.

 

“Being allowed to marry will make life much easier for same sex couples in Thailand. Not only will they now be able to have their relationships publicly celebrated and legally recognised, they will also be able to access services previously denied to them. For example, producing a marriage certificate is a prerequisite to accessing fertility services such as IVF.

 

“However, there is still more that needs to be done to protect the human rights of LGBTIQA+ people in Thailand, including making it easier for trans people to amend their gender on official documents and enacting laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and sex characteristics.

 

“It is always hard to be the 'first'. Thailand is to be congratulated for being the first South-East Asian nation to enact this reform. They have made it easier for other countries in the region to now follow suit. Vietnam and the Philippines have both been considering this issue, and Thailand's leadership may embolden them to similarly recognise same sex marriages.

 

“While Thailand's reforms are welcome, it is important to remember that it is not all rainbows and lollipops for LGBTIQA+ people in South-East Asia. Malaysia, Myanmar and Brunei all still criminalise consensual same sex sexual conduct, and in late 2022, Indonesia enacted a new Criminal Code that makes all consensual sex outside of marriage a criminal offence. There is still much work to be done before the human rights of LGBTIQA+ people are respected and protected and they can live their lives in dignity and equality.”

 

For more Monash media stories visit our news & events site: monash.edu/news

For any other topics on which you may be seeking expert comment, contact the Monash University Media Unit on +61 3 9903 4840 or media@monash.edu

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