To celebrate the very first anniversary, Wonders & Weddings joined the sponsorship of Tai Pride 2020 Bangkok. The event with many important discussions for Thai LGBTQ+ community, including the reasons we need Equal Marriage Law.
Tai Pride 2020 and Gender Sessions
Tai Pride 2020 took place on 10 December 2020 at Root Garden – Open Space in Bangkok. The emcee, Tabby (She/Her), was leading most sessions of the day. She and several speakers talked about LGBTQ+ rights in different aspects, such as:
- Behind The Scene of Trans
- Equal Marriage Law
- Access to Welfare for LGBTQ+ Disabled People
- Gender Recognition Act
Discussion on Equal Marriage Law
There were three parts of the discussions with total of four speakers, including Yarna (They/Them) from SAGA Thailand, Jane (She/Her) and Toey (He/Him) – both national disabled athletes and a couple, and Porsche (She/Her) from Accor Corporate. Each speaker shared their opinions from their own experiences and/or their loved ones.
Opinion from Non-binary and Aromantic Person*
Yarna, a representative from SAGA (Sexuality and Gender Acceptance) Thailand, was the first to share personal thought. Not wanting to get married in the future, Yarna still wants to support the legalization of the Equal Marriage Law for her family member and partner. So they can have the same legal rights and protections as do hetero married couples. Yarna believes that everyone can support this law, regardless of their gender identities.
One of the example of their struggles, were rights to making medical decisions. At this point, only immediate family members, such as parents or biological siblings, can make decisions for the person in sickness. That is not the reality of many LGBTQ+ couples who have lived together. Yarna hopes that the law will allow her family member and partner to make such decisions for each other and provides them with rights to inheritance as well.
Love Story from National Disabled Athletes Couple
Jane Suchada and Toey Jurairat, national athletes from The Deaf Sports Association of Thailand (DSAT), shared their opinions together with their interpreters, Weerachit and Jutamat, from Association of the Physically Handicapped of Thailand (APHT).
Jane said that her way of life was similar to others people. Even though she couldn’t speak, she communicated through Thai sign language. Having a same-sex partner was a challenge for her. Because her family didn’t accept them in the beginning. They wished she would one day marry a man. However, they continued living their lives together. It’s been four years now and the family became opened-minded towards their relationship.
Toey shared more examples from same-sex couples who were also disabled athletes in other countries. These couples could register their marriage legally. So Toey hopes one day the same thing will happen in Thailand after the government legalizes this equal marriage law. Toey mentioned that marriages and partnerships were about love, communications, and attitudes. If equal marriage law exists, they can start living their lives together with legal rights and protections.
Planning Your Finance and Your Future as LGBTQ+ Couples
The last speaker of this session was Porsche. She explained the struggles LGBTQ+ couples experienced when planning for their finance and their futures while the Equal Marriage Law was missing in Thailand. For Thai LGBTQ+ with partners of other nationalities, they couldn’t ask for Thai nationality for their partners, unlike hetero people who could ask for their spouses. If one of them passed away, they had no rights to claim anything, while hetero couples shared their fortunes since the second their registered their marriages.
Getting a shared loan was an important deal for marriages because it’s the shared investment couples decide together. If Equal Marriage Law exists, LGBTQ+ couples can apply for the loan together. At the moment only a few banks allowed them to do so and under highly complicated conditions. Most of the time, one person has to bear the loan by themselves, receives much higher interests, and risks with many other complications afterwards.
Achieving Legal Marriage Law for Equality
Porsche explained further that many articles in the Thai Constitutional Law connect to the Marriage Law, especially with choices of words like man and woman or husband and wife. What she wants is for this law to change their wording to “two people” or “more than one person” instead. So that everyone can have the equal legal rights, whether they identify themselves as man, woman, or other genders.
Surely, rewriting the law takes time; she understands that there are many steps to take ahead. One day everything will be settled as it should. And everyone should voice their opinions.
Sharing Your Voice on Equal Marriage Law
If you are a member of LGBTQ+ community and would like to share your voice, experience, or opinions on why Thailand needs equal marriage law, I’ll be very happy to hear from you and forward your thoughts on this article and other channels.