Thai activists continue to fight for marriage equality after court rules against it
LGBTQ+ marriage is currently not legal in Thailand, despite the fact that the country’s Constitution explicitly states that all citizens are equal no matter their sexual orientation.
Last year, a lesbian couple petitioned for the right to marry, arguing that the marriage equality ban violated their constitutional rights. The Constitutional Court, however, ruled in November that maintaining the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman does not conflict with the rights granted to LGBTQ people in the constitution.
“After weighing the benefits of making marriage a possibility for couples of the same sex,” said the Court’s ruling, “there is a net loss of benefits for both traditional unions between men and women, and same sex-couples. Along with the loss of benefits, there will also be the destruction of the laws of nature and family unity, which are important foundations for society and the survival of mankind.”
While the ruling does not make it impossible for marriage equality to pass in other ways, activists are worried about the stigma the ruling will propagate.
“In the ruling, there [are] a lot of homophobic tropes and transphobic arguments,” human rights activist Guts Thorngrop Rodsavas told PinkNews. “I feel like, coming from the court, this could make conservatives who hold these points of view think that their views are legitimate.”
According to the Union of Catholic Asian News, the ruling also advised lawmakers against legalizing marriage equality, arguing that it would create burdens on Thai society in regards to parental leave, welfare, and the like. The Court also argued that LGBTQ parents cannot bond with their children the same way heterosexual parents can and so should not be allowed to marry and adopt.
The Thai government reportedly advertises the country to tourists as a safe space for LGBTQ people, and activists are warning against believing this messaging.
“Please, don’t trust the Go Thai Be Free campaign operated by the Thai government [because] it is so fake and completely propaganda!” said activist Nada Chaiyajit in a Facebook post, according to UCA News.
Many others have been calling out the hypocrisy as well.
“So they can sell themselves as a very open minded country, offer a full package gay holidays even ‘celebrate’ gay weddings but Thai people doesn’t have the same rights,” wrote one person on Twitter. “Shame on the Thai Constitutional Court. When a certain right it’s not for all, it’s a privilege not a right.”
So they can sell themselves as a very open minded country, offer a full package gay holidays even ‘celebrate’ gay weddings but Thai people doesn’t have the same rights. Shame on the Thai Constitutional Court. When a certain right it’s not for all, it’s a privilege not a right
— David Espadero martinez (@EspaderoDavid) November 17, 2021
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