Thai MPs take a step towards legalization of same-sex unions

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The House of Commons in Thailand has taken the first step towards the approval of same-sex marriage. The members of the House of Commons voted in favor of a proposal that should allow marriage and civil partnership for people of the same sex. The move was met with cheers from supporters outside the parliament building.

The proposals, for same-sex marriage and for registered partnership for people of the same sex, are now being turned into concrete legislative proposals by a group of MEPs. After that, Parliament must vote on it. In March, another proposal for same-sex marriage was rejected. Thailand would become the first country in Southeast Asia to approve same-sex marriage, if the proposal passes.

Thailand has a very visible LGBTI community. Last week, for the first time since 2006, a Pride parade was held in Bangkok. However, the community faces a lot of discrimination in the predominantly Buddhist and culturally conservative kingdom, especially outside Bangkok.

The chairman of the party that submitted the proposal says the vote should give people hope. “Today shows that there is a place for everyone in this country, whoever you are.”

“I am extremely happy and it is a good sign in Pride month that there are MPs who want equality, but there is still a long way to go,” said an activist who was outside Parliament.

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