Thailand: Public hearings on civil unions begin

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

A series of public hearings held by a joint team of the Rights and Liberties Protection Department and the House committee on Legal Affairs, Justice and Human Rights – began in Thailand last week.

More than 200 people attended the Chandrakasem Rajabhat University in Bangkok in order to show their support for a draft bill that proposes to provide civil partnership status to same-sex couples, giving them similar benefits to married heterosexual couples.

The meeting was chaired by Pol Gen Viroon Phuensaen of the Pheu Thai Party. He reportedly started drafting the bill after two of his constituents came to him about their lack of rights as a same-sex male couple.

Supporters of the bill have pledged to collect 10,000 signatures – or the support of 20 members of the House of Representatives – in case the cabinet rejects the bill.

Setthawut Rugsujitrat, an attendee of the hearing, said that as a country that favours tradition, it will be difficult to get the law passed in Thailand.

An anonymous attendee said: “In the current situation, if my boyfriend passed away, I don’t have the right to retrieve his body from the hospital. And what about our assets and properties we had bought together?”

Further hearings will take place this month and early in March.