Thai LGBT activists celebrate vote that brings marriage equality closer

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Thai LGBT activists celebrate marriage equality

A Significant Step Forward for LGBTQ+ Rights

In a landmark development on Tuesday, Thailand moved a step closer to becoming the third jurisdiction in Asia to recognize same-sex marriages. The upper house of the Thai Parliament passed the first reading of a marriage-equality bill by a significant margin, marking a critical advancement in the campaign for LGBTQ+ rights in the country.

Waaddao Chumaporn, a 40-year-old LGBTQ+ advocate and a spokesperson for the bill’s parliamentary committee, expressed profound joy and acceptance from the nation. “It’s like we’ve been embraced and accepted by the people in the entire country,” Waaddao remarked, referring to the event as the “best gift of our lives.”

Related : Thailand lawmakers approve same-sex marriage

The initiative underscores a growing shift in attitudes within a region traditionally anchored in conservative values. “It sends a signal to the Southeast Asian region, where the fundamentals are deeply rooted in conservative views,” Waaddao highlighted.

The proposal received overwhelming support in the Senate, with a vote of 147-4 in favor, setting the stage for further scrutiny in the coming second and third readings scheduled for July. Should the legislation gain final approval, it will be forwarded to the royal palace for the monarch’s endorsement, ultimately becoming law within four months.

The committee members, alongside other activists, shared a moment of jubilation, exchanging high fives and celebrating their collective achievement after the successful vote.

This milestone follows a notable decision last month, where an impressive 96% of the lower house members endorsed the bill, signaling a significant shift towards inclusivity.

Reflecting on the progress, Siritata Ninlapruek, a 45-year-old supporter who brandished a rainbow flag during the announcement, optimistically noted, “We see that the needle has moved closer towards our goal,” as the results of the vote were declared.

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