Many members of Thailand’s LGBTQ community were stunned, even hurt, when they read the content of the court ruling recently published online.
Several paragraphs of the ruling explained that the tradition of marriage is only preserved for heterosexual men and women, and that “different species” should be “treated differently” because same-sex marriage defies the laws of nature and family.
“…The purpose of a marriage is to allow a man and woman to live together as husband and wife, so they can establish a family unit to have children, to maintain the human race according to natural order and to further allow the passing of wealth, inheritance and bonds between father, mother, sisters, brothers, aunts and uncles. But marriage between LGBT+ persons cannot establish such delicate bonds or relationships,” the verdict, numbered 20/2564, read.
“However, when advanced technology in the future finds more details that certain species have different behaviours or biological traits, then they shall be categorised into a different group for further studies. The same applies to the State or the Legislature treating or acknowledging people of different sexual orientations differently
… After weighing the benefits of making marriage a possibility for couples of the same sex, there is a net loss of benefits for both traditional unions between men and women, and same sex-couples.
“Along with the loss of benefits, there will also be the destruction of the laws of nature and family unity, which are important foundations for society and the survival of mankind,” the ruling continued.
The LGBTQ community found the verdict extremely upsetting.
Akekawat Pimsawan, leader of the advocacy group Queer Riot, said this indicated that the state’s attitude and opinions were influenced homophobia.
When general thought heads in this direction, it has an immense impact on LGBTQ people who are also members of society. Laws supporting or related to same-sex marriage and equal rights have an immense impact on the quality of life for many people, and for some it can mean life and death or just living as a human with dignity, he said.
“I am angry, hurt and pained by this verdict. There are still other changes in the legislature pending consideration, but I do believe that the verdict has called for us all to have faith in working together and find solidarity among LGBTQ communities and their allies,” Akekawat added.
Nikorn Arthit, president of the Bangkok Rainbow Organisation (BRO), said it’s unbelievable that the verdict goes into such details about procreation, family values and technology.
“I think it’s time to rethink the notions of being LGBTQ and reproduction. Family values are naturally respected in Thai society, and LGBTQ people have always wished to form families and build familial bonds as well,” Nikorn added.
Same-sex marriage law expert and Phd candidate, Chawinroj Terapachalaphon, said the verdict does not specifically prohibit possible changes in LGBTQ people’s right to a relationship, but it may be twisted when employed in a discourse or debate on their rights.
The Constitutional Court ruled on November 10 that Article 1448 of the Civil and Commercial Code only defines marriage as a constitutional right for men and women. The ruling was in response to a petition filed by two lesbians seeking to marry legally.
Thai government and its Tourism Authority of Thailand have promoted the country as being friendly to and tolerant of LGBTQ. Last year, the Cabinet approved the Civil Partnership Bill, making it a promising stepping-stone for same-sex marriage in the future. However, the bill was rejected in Parliament.
Next year will mark 10 years of the battle in Thailand to seek equality for the LGBTQ community and their right to get married.
For the full verdict of the court: https://bit.ly/3DiItd1
Published : Aug 03, 2021
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By : THE NATION