Thailand’s government under PM Srettha Thavisin champions LGBTQ rights with plans to host the international World Pride event in 2030. As global attitudes darken, including FBI warnings of targeted attacks, Thailand aims to be the pride capital of Asia.

Thailand’s government under Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has put LGBTQ rights front and centre since September last year. The prime minister has already confirmed he will participate in the Bangkok Gay Pride festival on June 1st. In addition, the kingdom seeks to host international LGBTQ events such as the annual World Pride gathering. All this is coming with a darkening of attitudes towards the gay community in other parts of the world. Indeed, there are warnings this year from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that gay pride events may be targeted next month, particularly in Asia.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin is confirmed to be a participant in the Bangkok Gay Pride parade on June 1st. Certainly, it comes as part of a month-long celebration of the LGBTQ community as the kingdom seeks to become the gay capital of Asia.

The Thai government this year is putting its weight behind the annual June Pride celebrations. It comes as the kingdom is aiming to become the host of World Pride in 2030.

The Bangkok Pride parade itself will take place on June 1st. The ‘Celebration of Love’ themed event will run from 3-6 pm. Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has already confirmed his attendance.

America’s FBI has openly warned that Gay Pride events this year are being targeted by terrorist groups. In particular, there is a raised danger level in Asia

At the same time, security of the event will be tight. The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has warned that such events will be targeted this year by sinister forces. 

Consequently, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration is working closely with the Metropolitan Police Bureau and other security agencies.

Reports suggest that Asia may be particularly at risk this year.

In the meantime, Thailand’s government is anxious to emphasise the kingdom as the pride capital of Asia.

Thailand is making a strong play to host the World Pride annual event, an international celebration of LGBTQ identity.

This year, the international event is taking place in Sydney, Australia. After that, the event will move to Washington DC in 2025, followed by Amsterdam in 2026.

Worldwide, danger lines are being drawn. Particularly in Russia and China where the LGBTQ community is oppressed and targeted as a symbol of Western decay

Certainly, every year, the June celebrations of the LGBTQ community grow stronger worldwide. However, it is occurring in a world where gay rights and LGBTQ identity are increasingly under threat.

For instance, in China, under President Xi Jinping, LGBTQ activities have faced a severe crackdown.

In addition, within Chinese society, LGBTQ characteristics are increasingly frowned upon. At the same time, the Communist Party seeks to encourage young men to become more ‘manly’ and less feminine.

Certainly, China has followed Russia’s line, which is to reject LGBTQ ‘ideology,’ which has developed in recent decades.

Both countries as well as others see the movement as a sign of decaying ‘Western’ values.

In addition, a similar movement has arisen in Africa. On that continent, states are stiffening criminal penalties for those pursuing an LGBTQ lifestyle.

LGBTQ lifestyles are oppressed and outlawed by many countries also in Asia in particular within the 10-nation ASEAN community centred on Southeast Asia

At the same time, the problem facing LGBTQ  people already exists closer to home.

For instance, even in Brunei, a member of the ASEAN community, homosexuality still carries the death penalty. In Malaysia LGBTQ activities are criminalised.

Indonesia, which bans same-sex marriage, criminalises sex outside marriage.

The basis of the June celebration of LGBTQ rights and community is the 1969 ‘Stonewall Uprising’ in New York’s Manhattan that year.

This occurred when, on a spontaneous basis, LGBTQ citizens revolted violently against systemic persecution by city authorities, including the police.

Same-sex marriage law passed by lower house. Next comes a law to legalise prostitution in Thailand

At length, this is why the first Gay Pride month took place in the United States in 1970.

Afterwards, the first World Pride event took place in Jerusalem, Israel, in 2000.

Undoubtedly, it is clear that LGBTQ rights are a key political issue and a significant divider between emerging power blocs in the world.

Prime Minister Srettha seen a strong LGBTQ supporter

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, since taking office in August 2023, has signalled LGBTQ rights as a key tenet of his government.

In March 2024, Thailand, momentously, passed a same-sex marriage law.

Over the weekend, government spokesman Chai Wacharonke underlined the PM’s support for diversity and equality in the kingdom.

In short, he emphasised that this extended to age, gender, religion, nationality and social status.

The government is expecting 860,000 people to take part in Pride activities in June. In addition, it is hoped it will generate ฿4 billion for the economy.

Significantly, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) sees the LGBTQ foreign tourism market as fundamentally important to Thailand’s foreign tourism recovery.

It notes that such visitors spend more lavishly and indulge in longer stays in the country on average.

Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) sets its sights on the pink dollar as it notes that gay visitors spend more lavishly and stay longer on their visits to Thailand

Consequently, the pink tourist market for Thailand is estimated to be the fourth largest in the world according to LGBT Capital. This is an organisation using business data to illustrate the desirability of enhancing LGBTQ rights.

The June Pride month will see not only parades but also conferences and workshops dealing with the cause. 

Furthermore, events will also take place outside Bangkok in key tourist centres such as Chiang Mai and Phuket. At length, up to over 30 locations throughout Thailand will be involved.

Thailand, however, has a long way to go on gay rights

Nonetheless, Thailand still remains a deeply conservative country.

Unquestionably it has a long way to go. In addition, there are fundamental challenges to be faced from deep-seated and hidden cultural prejudices. 

The Williams Institute of UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) is a respected research centre. It produced a rankings table with data from 2017 to 2020 showing support for the LGBTQ community. 

In brief, Thailand was ranked in 40th place in the world out of 175 countries. 

The kingdom had a score of 4.81, just behind Singapore and ahead of Taiwan. At length, Iceland led the table in number one position with 9.78 points.

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Further reading:

Same-sex marriage law passed by lower house. Next comes a law to legalise prostitution in Thailand

Government reviewing prostitution laws, public consultations expected in 2021 amid reform calls from workers

Full steam ahead on LGBTQ rights in Thailand, new gender identity law ordered by the PM at cabinet

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

Police probing murder-suicide theory after the bodies of two lesbian lovers were found at Pattaya hotel resort

Underworld surrogacy trade exposed, man arrested for smuggling semen from Thailand into Laos