Thailand’s cabinet has reportedly approved a civil partnership bill on Wednesday that would recognise same-sex unions with almost the same legal rights as married couples, in one of the most liberal moves yet for a largely conservative nation known for its tolerance.
If passed by parliament, the legislation would make Thailand only the second place in Asia to allow registration of same-sex unions, with couples able to adopt a child and afforded rights to inheritance and joint property ownership.
“The Civil Partnership Bill is an important step for Thai society in promoting equal rights and supporting the rights of same-sex couples to build families and live as partners,” Ratchada Thanadirek, a deputy government spokeswoman, wrote on Facebook.
The bill, however, stipulates that one party in a same-sex union must be Thai.
A largely conservative Buddhist society, Thailand has a reputation for openness and free-wheeling attitudes. It has long been a draw for same-sex couples, with a vibrant lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender social scene for locals and expatriates, and targeted campaigns to attract LGBT travelers