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Thailand takes steps towards supporting same-sex unions

The Civil Partnership Bill would also allow couples to adopt and jointly own property

By Thomas Stichbury

Thailand inched ever closer to making history when it showed its support for same-sex unions.

On Wednesday, the country backed a draft bill that would allow for the legal registration of same-sex partnerships.

Although the legislation avoids the term “marriage”, it will afford LGBTQ couples many of the benefits enjoyed by their heterosexual counterparts.

For instance, they would have the right to adopt children, jointly own property and also to pass on inheritance.

“The Civil Partnership Bill is a milestone for Thai society in promoting equality among people of all genders,” said Ratchada Dhnadirek, a deputy government spokeswoman.

“This strengthens the families of people with sexual diversity and is appropriate for the present social circumstances,” she added.

Partnerships can only occur between individuals who are at least 17 years old, and one of the pair must be a Thai citizen.

Having already been through the cabinet, the bill must now be passed in Parliament in order to become law.

If approved, Thailand will join Taiwan as the only places in Asia where the rights of same-sex couples are legally recognised.

Last year, Taiwan introduced its same-sex marriage law.