Court ruling in Thailand sparks outrage in LGBTIQ community

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Photo: Chiang Mai Pride Parade/Facebook

More than 275,000 people have petitioned for same-sex marriage in Thailand after a top court caused outrage with its ruling against the reform.

Thailand’s Constitutional Court ruled against same-sex marriage on November 17. It was a major setback for the country’s LGBTIQ community.

The court heard the case of a female same-sex couple of 12 years who last year requested a marriage registration but were rejected.

The panel of eight judges looked at Thailand’s Section 1448 of the Civil and Commercial Code. The law states only a man and a woman can register a marriage.

In their November ruling, the Constitutional Court declared that law constitutional.

But now the court has published its full 12-page ruling, causing new outrage in Thailand’s LGBTIQ community.

Same-sex marriage ‘against the natural order’

The judges’ verdict declares marriage equality for same-sex couples is “against the natural order”.

“Marriage equality would not only overturn the natural order, but it would also shake the very foundation of society and humanity,” the ruling reads.

“Marriage is when a man and a woman are willing to live together, to build a husband and wife relationship to reproduce their offspring.”

They do so “under the morals, traditions, religion and the laws of each society.”

But same-sex marriage, the judges argue, involves “sexual preference and attraction”, not meeting that definition.

The judges claimed same-sex couples cannot form the “delicate bond” that exists between heterosexual couples.

“Marriage is, therefore, reserved for only a man and a woman,” the ruling declares.

In another part of the ruling, the judges seemingly liken LGBTIQ people to animals.

“If science discovers more details that some animal species exhibit strange biological behaviors or characteristics, they will be grouped separately for further study,” they wrote.

In the ruling, the judges ultimately did recommend laws protecting LGBTIQ people’s rights. However they urged lawmakers to stop short of legalising marriage equality.

Outrage over Thailand same-sex marriage court ruling

LGBTIQ activists in Thailand are furious about the ruling, slamming the judges’ use of demeaning and homophobic statements.

A new petition calling for same-sex marriage has attracted 275,000 signatures in just over a week.

It calls for the government to amend Article 1448 to officially allow marriages between couples of any gender.

LGBTIQ groups also organised a marriage equality rally in Thailand late last month.

Meanwhile, some on social media took aim at Thailand’s “hypocrisy” of explicitly marketing itself as a progressive destination for LGBTIQ travellers yet not recognising its own same-sex unions.

One tweeted, “So they can sell themselves as a very open minded country, offer full package gay holidays and even ‘celebrate’ gay weddings.

“But Thai people don’t have the same rights. Shame on the Thai Constitutional Court.”

Civil unions bill stalls in the Thai parliament

Last year, Thailand’s Cabinet backed legislation to allow civil unions and other amendments granting other rights to same-sex couples.

But the laws stalled in the Thai parliament and were criticsed by activists for falling short of full marriage equality.

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