In a setback to the LGBTQI community, Thailand’s  constitutional court has refused to legalise same-sex marriages. This has come after it expanded laws to give LGBTI people more rights. 

According to a Bloomberg report, “the Constitutional Court said the current marriage bill that only recognises heterosexual couples is constitutional”. 

The court released a statement in which it said the government and parliament, “should draft laws that guarantee the rights for gender diverse people”. 

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Human Rights Watch senior researcher, Sunai Phasuk said in a tweet the decision makes the “government’s pledge to promote gender equality meaningless”, according to a Los Angeles Blade report

Petition Was Filed On Behalf Of A Lesbian Couple

Thai advocacy group, the Foundation for Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Rights and Justice had challenged Section 1448 of the country’s Civil and Commercial Code with a lawsuit because it doesn’t grant marriage rights to same-sex couples.

The organisation did this because it was advocating for a same-sex female couple who wanted to get legally married in their home country of Thailand. They sought to have their marriage recognised in Bangkok where civil authorities rejected their request. 

In 2018, the Thai cabinet had passed a civil union bill for same-sex couples. Further measures were approved of by the Thai government last year. 

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Thai historian, Chanun Yodhong, according to Coconuts Bangkok, said in an online panel discussion, the decision “seems like discrimination within discrimination. It makes the institution of marriage look feudal and something bound to only male and female”.

Community Plans Protest

Coconuts Bangkok also reported the hashtag #Equality Marriage was trending on Twitter in Thailand. 

Thai Twitter user Jaoyinggx tweeted, “love does not discriminate. To us, denying people the right to marry just because they are of the same sex equals denying someone one of their most basic rights”.  

According to Yahoo! News, an LGBTIQA+ group Free Gender Thailand and other organisations are going to protest against the Constitutional Court’s ruling on November 28.

Thai MP and member of the Move Forward Party, Tunyawaj Kamolwongwat has introduced a marriage equality bill. 

Taiwan is the only Asian country where same-sex marriage is legal. It was legalised it in 2019.

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