Wednesday, June 19, 2024

In response to today’s passing of the marriage equality bill by the upper house of Thailand’s Parliament, Amnesty International’s Thailand Researcher Chanatip Tatiyakaroonwong said:

“Thailand has taken a historic step towards becoming the first country in Southeast Asia to legalize marriage for LGBTI couples. This landmark moment is a reward for the tireless work of activists, civil society organizations and lawmakers who have fought for this victory.

“While there is no doubt that the legalization of marriage for LGBTI couples is a key milestone for Thailand, much more must be done to guarantee full protection of LGBTI people in the country.

“LGBTI people in Thailand continue to face many forms of violence and discrimination, including but not limited to technology-facilitated gender-based violence which oftens targets human rights defenders.

“Thai authorities must build on the momentum and take further steps that protect the rights and ensure the participation of LGBTI people and organizations.”


The House of Representatives, the Thai parliament’s lower house, passed the same-sex marriage bill on 27 March 2024 with an overwhelming majority voting in favour.

Today the Senate, the upper house of Thailand’s parliament, passed the law during an ad-hoc parliamentary session. The bill grants LGBTI couples equal rights with heterosexual couples in relation to marriage, child adoption, healthcare consent and inheritance, among other things.

The bill will now be submitted to the Thai King for royal endorsement. Following this endorsement, it will be published on the Royal Gazette and become law after 120 days.

Previously, in 2015, Thailand passed the Gender Equality Act aimed at providing legal protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression and sex characteristics (SOGIESC). However, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) has raised concerns to the Thai government about this law, as it contains a provision that grants exemptions to the prohibition of gender-based discrimination based on religious principles or national security.

In the report “Being Ourselves is Too Dangerous”, published in May 2024, Amnesty International found that LGBTI human rights defenders in Thailand faced targeted digital surveillance and online harassment in response to their human rights activism. Many suffered from severe mental health impacts and experienced a chilling effect that led them to reduce or stop their activism.

Taiwan became the first place in Asia to recognize same-sex marriage in 2019. Nepal was the next, registering the first marriage of an LGBTI couple in November 2023.

Tags: Thailand, Human Rights, Freedom of expression.