Thailand's cabinet Wednesday approved a bill that allows partnership registration of same-sex unions as well as legal amendments to guarantee these couples have the same rights as married ones.
Thai Soldier Kills 20 in Shooting Rampage in Country’s Northeast
The Civil Partnership Bill and the reforms to the Civil and Commercial Code have yet to be approved by the parliament. However, if passed, Thailand would become the second country in Asia to permit the registration of same-sex unions, following Taiwan.
According to the Civil Partnership Bill, partners are understood as couples born with the same sex, and the registration will be available for couples 17 years older, or more and one of the members has to hold Thai nationality.
On the other hand, Civil and Commercial Code amendments only recognize monogamous relationships and declare that the right to alimony for a member of the relationship in a broken union does not longer apply when they form a new one.
"The bill is an important step for Thai society in promoting equality among people of all genders," Deputy government spokeswoman Ratchada Dhnadireksaid said on Facebook.
The legislation also covers property rights, adoption, and inheritance. Nevertheless does not guarantee entitlements to spousal benefits or either individual options of state welfare or tax exemptions.
Although the bill does not call same-sex union "marriage," it is considered a milestone in Thailand, mainly a Buddhist society, as it promotes equality between people regardless of their gender.