THAILAND PASSES LANDMARK BILL RECOGNISING MARRIAGE EQUALITY

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Thailand’s Senate passed the final reading of a marriage equality law on Tuesday paving the way for it to become the first country in Southeast Asia to recognise same-sex couples.

The bill comes after more than two decades of effort from activists and politicians, after previous drafts did not reach parliament.

With the support of nearly all lawmakers in the upper house, the law next needs royal approval and will come into force 120 days after it is published in the royal gazette.

Lawmakers and activists were seen celebrating in Thailand’s parliament, waving rainbow flags and smiling, with some raising their fists in solidarity with the LGBT community.

In northern Chiang Mai province, lesbian feminist and human rights defender, Matcha Phornin, her wife Veerawan Wanna, and their adopted daughter Siriwan Phornin were glued to the screen as they witnessed the historical moment in parliament.

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Three of them arms in the air, cheered, hugged each other and shared tears of joy as senators voted in the final reading of the bill.

Thailand, one of Asia’s most popular tourist destinations, is already known for its vibrant LGBT culture and tolerance.

Tuesday’s move would make Thailand the third territory in Asia after Nepal and Taiwan to enact marriage equality legislation.

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