On June 18, 2024, Thailand became the first Southeast Asian and third Asian country to legalize same-sex marriage. With a Senate vote of 130 to 152, Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn will review the Marriage Equality Act for a pro forma endorsement before being formally added as a bill. Once posted in the Government Gazette, the bill will be effective within 120 days. 

Picture courtesy of Thailand’s Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin’s X post

This success has led to even larger changes within Thailand’s legal proceedings. The legislation will amend gendered language to be more inclusive in the country’s Civil and Commercial Code. This is meant to continually serve the LGBTQ+ community in avenues apart from marriage and on a more individual level. 

While some were hesitant to accept the new bill and language adjustments, such as the four senators who voted against the bill and 18 who voted to abstain, the government chose to host a celebration for this bill’s passing. 

According to a CNN article covering the event, the Government House was decorated with rainbows, symbolizing the LGBTQ+ community. From the carpets to the drapery, the decorations colorfully represented a new era of Thailand’s support for the queer community. Rainbow balloon hands in the shape of a heart, rainbow flags, florals and fireworks surrounded the Government House. Countless political representatives, celebrities, and diplomats participated in a parade as supporters cheered and celebrated on the front lawn of the Government House. 

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin commented on the celebrations on X, as he was isolating due to COVID-19. He thanked those who helped push this bill and congratulated various couples on their wedding announcements. He also announced that he is “proud to be a Pride Friendly Destination and look[s] forward to bringing World Pride to Thailand in 2030.” 

While Thailand has been inclusive through its media outlets and has an extensive entertainment industry focused on Boy Love (BL) and Girl Love (GL) television dramas, this bill took decades to come to light. Now that Thailand’s Senate has passed a same-sex marriage bill, Prime Minister Thavisin expressed in his X post that he hopes Thailand, going forward, will be a continually diverse and inclusive space.