Legalize same-sex marriage in Thailand NOW! ให้ สนช. แก้กฎหมายอนุญาติการสมรสร่วมเพศ
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I'm a concerned citizen living in Bangkok, Thailand and I'm here at change.org hoping to do some good and dreaming to live in a more equal world in the future.
One way I believe we can do that is to legalize same-sex marriage in Thailand.
Let me explain.
1. THE PROBLEM
Although Thailand is seen by many as a safe haven for the LGBTQ+ community, same-sex marriage remains illegal in Thailand and there is no justification for that in 2017.
It is time we join some 20 other countries and allow same-sex couples to marry and enjoy the same rights and protections as all other couples.
It is time we stop paying lip service to human rights and actually start guaranteeing them for the sizable LGBTQ+ community in Thailand. There are millions of Thais that do not identify themselves as heterosexual. If it is not you, it is very likely to be someone you know and care about.
Legalizing same-sex marriage is more than just about recognition and eroding the often repressive and pervasive heteronormativity. It is also about the provision of rights in the realms of taxes, estates, government benefits, residency, adoption and a myriad of other rights that heterosexual couples enjoy but are currently inaccessible to homosexual couples.
Our latest constitution, the highest law of the land, states in Section 4 that "the human dignity, right, liberty and equality of the people shall be protected. The Thai people shall enjoy equal protection under the Constitution."
It is therefore very possible that the continued refusal to allow same-sex couples to legally marry and enjoy all the dignity, rights, liberty and equality that all other couples enjoy may fundamentally violate a central clause in the Constitution of Thailand.
Thailand has made steps towards achieving this overdue milestone before. Around 4 years ago, the draft of the Civil Partnership Act made considerable headway in Parliament but soon became overshadowed by the political crisis. Since then, there has been little to no progress and the issue has been virtually ignored in today's political discourse.
This is unacceptable and the push for the legalization of same-sex marriage must be revived with great vigor than ever before.
With Taiwan recently becoming the first Asian state to legalize same-sex marriage, the issue is no longer alien to this region. It is no longer, nor has it ever truly been, a 'Western' concept incompatible with traditional Asian values.
Remember that allowing women to vote, outlawing slavery and asserting that the world was round, among a plethora of other things, were all once considered heinous ideas than seem so moral and rational today.
So this government has the chance to stand on the right side of history or on the wrong side. It has the chance to etch itself in the history books as the first administration to guarantee such a fundamental right to the LGBTQ+ community in Thailand or it can choose to join a long list of administrations that have failed to correct this terrible wrong.
2. THE SOLUTION
Now, I'm fully aware that legalizing same-sex marriage can be legally complex. But there are many possible ways to start. One way to do get the ball rolling is to amend the entire Marriage Section of the Thai Civil and Commercial Code so that instead of specifying that a marriage must be between a man and a woman, amend it so that a marriage be between any two consenting adults.
Another method is to revive and pass the Civil Partnership Act, which although does not go as far as providing equal rights to homosexual and heterosexual couples, it is a great start.
Whatever the method is, something has to change and fast.
Inaction is no longer an option.
If anything, I just hope that this petition can pressure the government and at least get the ball rolling on this vital human rights issue after years of inertness. It is perhaps ambitious but change always begins from bottom-up—from the people—and if enough people come together, history is on our side.
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