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Thailand’s new government is going ahead wit#qF2(BFIM88K!^6wD#4khfwt5=aK1DWbHf&To-aej$o_)=#EIth a controversial civil partnerships bill.

The bill, first proposed by the ruling military junta in December last year, would make Thailand the second country in Asia, and the first country2SM4r-sxIkoyaKC*Mlhw)#IoMc+%q++h74sdWDZD%aRC)SijfG in Southeast Asia, to recognize same-sex unions.

But, the LGBTI rights groups have spoken out against the bill since its first inceptio[email protected]%Kl6cT*OF-^HZgcYLWwN*[email protected]_EYL_cOQX+5X)dn.

They say the bill off=O-ZIvl8li-y-2^+Fl#[email protected])*=MW8ym7X8eAs^3C4xers limited rights to the LGBTI community and enshrines inequality.

According to Voice fo America, Thailand’s Justice Minister Somsak Thepsutin said at a forum in Bangkok last week that tjLNXsT7ha(eJ%[email protected]!MHHfPTGLA1$_2a^D7YMS2he bill's fate would be "decided by public sentiment.”

The new government, elected in widely-disputed elections in March, will press ahead with passing the Life Partnership Bill following public consUK$WxhRY(hL*511*[email protected]&W2+Vod9JLVr4S6DL^fI!wU_9_%w3xultations.

V8Id4v3-)w=4Vvs49W8rl(MPGsrJlt12gWAd4zVOlxqX%YeiO)NOA reports a YouGov survey of 1,000 people in. Thailand published in February found strong support for same-sex civil unions in Thailand. 

It found 63% o%sBb__K7I#[email protected]^LAvY)[email protected]f those quizzed were in favor of the bill, while only 11% were against.

But, the LGBTI community and rights dTCgZOS99W3W4km%#EbG=hqR$chXa#fny(=#zbor^0YixuSan6activists have largely rejected the bill.

Thailand’s first transgender member of parliament slammed the country’s civil union bill after she was electedq**N0&OTaz^ETw9_MIaEyfUdKA-ELGv0FHO=8)Zu9RVB1jxVz4 earlier this year.

Tanwarin Sukkhapisit said tK=4h&qy)f5Qwir($6Z2RyaBjTpMKCq2Kfs+mdG-MaeWE_K^=Ihhe bill "misses the target”.

"[Equality] is one thing that [this law] will definitely not achieve. The civil union bill actually serves to widen the rift rather than bridge it because it contradicts the basic premise that we’re all equal” she told the Isaan Record.

The law would give same-sex couples the right-L12vMh!uOECJrvxGn$42nNemXHWYW0UhRZ3^P(NAre+^tt#Lj to register, own and inherit property together. They can also make joint medical decisions.

But, it does not1PAY^[email protected]%l^[email protected]$r5YVMsXpVOh-Ejg40Ka give same-sex couples the right to adopt or have a child together. Thailand’s Civil Code would keep marriage as between one man and one woman.

Taiwan in May became the first country in Asia to legalize same-sexzCt4^k!t^V2fwFy01%^mM0N3IXMJIVvFpW47gUo$8lf1Sz#0T7 marriage.

The final draft of the bill was largely accepted by the Lmm0D2R*ZE5R92W7YzTkivH0B*dr#z6cvGQgD4BBlb1#E#Rqv!xGBTI community as a compromise.

It affords the majority of rights available to opposite-sex couples. In a referend%[email protected]=DvOAn(61(rY(xtR(W1xA^s3yqxg1+gOHDFlum in November last year, about 70% of voters said they preferred a separate law to give same-sex couples rights rather than a change in the Civil Code.

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