PM orders Gender recognition law. LGBTQ rights advancing rapidly in Thailand. The first Southeast Asian nation to legalise same-sex marriage expected alongside recognition of alternative genders as a matter of human rights. The moves should not come as a surprise as Srettha Thavisin, even before entering politics, was seen as an ardent proponent of LGBTQ inclusivity.

On Tuesday, at cabinet, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin ordered new laws to be expedited to fully recognise all genders in Thailand. The move will be a significant step forward for LGBTQ rights in the kingdom. It comes as same-sex marriage legislation is currently making its way through parliament. The law is likely to be passed making Thailand the first country in Southeast Asia to do so. The promotion of LGBTQ rights is seen as a key priority for the PM.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin after Tuesday’s cabinet meeting at Government House where the green light was given to the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security to introduce new legislation in parliament dealing with gender identity.

In a bid to promote inclusivity and equality, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has directed the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security to expedite the process of introducing gender recognition legislation to parliament.

The order by the PM came during the weekly Cabinet meeting on February 20, 2024.

Afterwards, Prime Minister Srettha emphasised the importance of upholding equality and respecting diverse gender identities. 

‘Every individual deserves to be treated with dignity and respect’ said the PM after a cabinet meeting at Government House where new legislation was approved

He stated, ‘We live in a diverse society where every individual deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. It is imperative that we promote equality and ensure that no one’s gender identity diminishes their worth or status.’

The Prime Minister’s directive underscores the government’s commitment to address the challenges faced by transgender individuals in Thailand.

Many transgender people encounter obstacles in their daily lives. For instance, due to discrepancies between their gender identity and the gender indicated on their official identification documents. 

This misalignment can lead to harassment, discrimination, and even violence in various aspects of life. For example, while conducting banking transactions or travelling.

Legal provisions to allow people to have legal identification that matches their gender and not just their gender at birth. Move will avert discrimination

To address these issues, legal gender recognition is essential to providing official recognition of a transgender person’s gender identity.

This recognition will enable transgender individuals to participate fully in society.

At the same time, it will protect them from discrimination based on their gender identity or expression.

Thailand has taken significant steps towards promoting gender equality in recent years.

Significantly, the passage of the Gender Equality Act B.E. 2558 in 2015.

That legislation marked a milestone by explicitly acknowledging transgender people. In addition, it introduced protection against gender-based discrimination.

However, there is still a need for comprehensive legal gender recognition laws. These are required to fully safeguard the rights of transgender individuals.

New legislation expected to be introduced in parliament

In light of these developments, the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security has been tasked with expediting the submission of the draft Gender Recognition Act to the Cabinet and Parliament.

The proposed legislation aims to establish legal mechanisms for recognising and affirming the gender identity of transgender individuals.

In response, stakeholders from various sectors, including government agencies, private enterprises, and civil society organisations, have expressed their support. In short, there is broad agreement for promoting gender equality and social inclusion.

Collaboration among diverse stakeholders is essential to advancing the rights and well-being of transgender individuals in Thailand.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) plays a significant role in promoting gender equality and human rights in Thailand.

The United Nations agency provides valuable insights and recommendations to the government informing it on policy formulation and advocacy efforts.

New laws seek to uphold Thailand’s commitment to embracing human rights for all people in the kingdom

The new initiative from the Thai government to push for gender recognition legislation demonstrates its commitment to upholding human rights.

At length, it signals that Thailand aims to create a more inclusive and equitable society. A country where every person can live with dignity and respect, regardless of their gender identity.

A bill is currently before the Thai parliament which will legalise same-sex marriage. It passed its first reading in December 2023 by an overwhelming majority. The law is expected to be passed this year. 

First country in Southeast Asia for same-sex marriage

In short, it will make Thailand the first country in Southeast Asia to legalise same-sex marriage.

Pheu Thai has a candidate in mind with initial speculation that it is property tycoon Srettha Thavisin
Gay and LGBT people in Thailand on the verge of same-sex partnership era with progressive reforms

The initiative has been lauded by Prime Minister Srettha who, even before entering politics, was seen as an ardent proponent of LGBTQ rights.

Previously, in December, after the first bill was read in parliament, he wrote: ‘Today is the first step of change’.

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Further reading:

Gay and LGBT people in Thailand on the verge of same sex partnership era with progressive reforms

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