In a landmark development, the Cabinet of the government of Thailand approved a draft of a bill that would allow same-sex couples to register for a civil partnership, the Bangkok Post reported.
While this is not the same thing as same-sex marriage, it does allow couples in these unions to jointly manage assets and liabilities, bestow inheritance and heritage rights between partners, and adopt children, according to Bloomberg.
The bill will now go to parliament for approval before becoming law.
Sought feedback from LGBTQ and religious groups
Bangkok Post said that the government sought feedback from "all stakeholders", including religious groups.
It quoted Thailand's prime minister, Prayuth Chan-ocha, who said that the move aligns with global trends on gender equality and rights.
The bill allows a relationship to be registered as long as both partners are at least 17 years old. For the government to recognise the relationship, one of these partners has to be a Thai national.
It added, "Those who are under the age of 17 must have the permission from their parents, legal guardians, or a court of law. Once a minor registers the relationship with authorities, he or she will no longer be considered as a minor."
Thailand's move comes after the 2019 announcement by Taiwan to legalise same-sex marriage. However, back then it was announced that couples in Taiwan could only adopt the biological children of one of the partners, and not a non-biological child.
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