Thailand: Partnership bill may still not pass NLA

OPINIONS are divided on the Life Partnership Bill, which is holding back some rights for same-sex couples, as the bill enters the final phase before becoming law.

The LGBT community, on one hand, slams the bill for not recognising their rights – now limited to heterosexual couples – to adopt a child, receive a spouse’s public and private welfare, and a deduction from taxes for couples. 

“People are celebrating, thinking that LGBT people will eventually be able to get married. But the reality is the legislation does not recognise many of their rights and benefits. [The law] is discriminatory in many areas,” said former National Human Rights commissioner activist Naiyana Supapung. 

The draft legislation violates the Constitution and the 2015 Gender Equality Act forbidding laws that limit any right or benefit for a person based on their gender, says Naiyana. To ensure true equality, we must amend the Civil Code to define marriage, as a union of two individuals rather than limit it to a male and a female, she said. 

Those charged with drafting the Life Partnership law, argue that Thailand needs to go step by step and make compromises because of the different views on the issue.  A source inside the Justice Ministry, whose department – the Rights and Liberties Protection Department (RLPD) – was charged with drafting the bill, pointed to the beliefs of religious and conservative groups. Read more via The Nation