Parliament accepts public draft bills on same-sex marriage, gender identity
Representatives of certain groups on Thursday presented to Parliament on behalf of the public the drafts of three bills in the hope that lawmakers would pass legislation on same-sex marriage, promote gender acceptance, and redefine prostitution.
The drafts were accepted by first deputy House Speaker Padipat Suntiphada.
The draft Marriage Equality Bill proposes amending Section 1448 of the Civil and Commercial Code, which limits the definition of marriage to a man and a woman, by making the marriage law applicable to any couple, regardless of gender.
The draft bill on "gender identity, gender expression and sexuality" proposes that official certificates accept the gender that an individual identifies as.
The third draft is an an amendment to the 1996 Prevention and Suppression of Prostitution Act, specifically to define sex workers as legal professionals who are entitled to rights and freedom to work equally.
The three bills share the same goals of ensuring sexual equality, promoting acceptance and equal treatment of all individuals regardless of their genders, sexual identity, or profession, said a representative.
“We urge Parliament to seriously consider these drafts, as the previous Parliament failed to pass the laws that would help offer equality and justice to all members of society,” they added.
Padipat told the representatives that Parliament would consider the drafts and open a public hearing session as soon as possible.
Only the marriage equality bill passed first reading in Parliament in June last year, but never passed the second reading due to several problems, including a delay to make way for the deliberation of other bills and the lack of quorum.