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Parliament debates marriage equality bills

Written by World Events

Four marriage equality bills, separately proposed by the government, the opposition and a people’s network, were debated in the House of Representatives today, as supporters of the right to same-sex marriage appealed to legislators to pass the first readings of the bills as a “New Year’s gift”.

Deputy Prime Minister Somsak Thepsuthin told parliament that the government-sponsored bill aims to amend Section 68 of the Civil and Commercial Code, regarding the definition of marriage, to cover all genders, instead of just between a man and a woman.

He explained that the government’s bill is not meant to write a new law on marriage and, hence, it does not go against Sharia law, which is enforced in the southernmost provinces.

He also claimed that the government’s bill has received overwhelming support from the people and leaders of all religious faiths.

Somsak said it is intended to emphasise the government’s intent to respect and promote human rights and to guarantee equal rights for all people to build a family, without sexual discrimination.

The three other bills include one initiated by the Move Forward party, another proposed by a Democrat MP and a third by a people’s network.

A transgender activist, Nachalae Bunyaphisomparn, said that the bill proposed by the Rainbow network is intended to ensure that same-sex married couples have the same rights as those accorded to heterosexual couples, including the right to adopt a child and the rights of parents.

Most of the MPs who joined the debate today voiced their support for all the bills.

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