Thai LGBT activists celebrate vote that brings marriage equality closer

Thai LGBT activists celebrated another victory on Tuesday after a marriage equality bill overwhelmingly passed a first reading in the upper house, a key step bringing the country closer to becoming Asia’s third territory to legalize same-sex unions.

“It’s like we’ve been embraced and accepted by the people in the entire country,” said Waaddao Chumaporn, 40, an LGBT activist and spokesperson for the parliamentary committee for the bill, calling it the “best gift of our lives”.

“It sends a signal to the Southeast Asian region, where the fundamentals are deeply rooted in conservative views.”

The bill sailed through the Senate’s first reading in a 147-4 vote, prior to second and third readings due in July. If approved, it will be sent to the royal palace for the king’s assent before it becomes law within 120 days.

Other activists on the committee pumped their fists and celebrated with each other after the vote.

Last month, 96% of the lower house passed the bill in a landmark move.

“We see that the needle has moved closer towards our goal,” said Siritata Ninlapruek, 45, who waved a rainbow flag, exulting as the vote count was read.

Source: VnExpress

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