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Thailand’s Legislature Approves Same-Sex Marriage Law

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nytimes.com

Lawmakers in Thailand voted on Tuesday to approve a marriage equality bill, a move that puts the country on a clear path to becoming the first in Southeast Asia to legalize same-sex marriage.

Thailand’s Senate passed the bill by 130 votes to 4, with some abstentions, on Tuesday afternoon. It was approved by the House of Representatives in March.

The legislation would become law after it is reviewed by a Senate committee and the Constitutional Court and receives royal assent from the king, a formality that is widely expected to be granted. “After 20 years of trying to legalize this matter,” activist Plaifa Kyoka Shodladd, 18, said in the Senate chamber after the vote, “finally, love wins.” The bill’s passage underscores Thailand’s status as a relative haven for gay couples in Asia.

Only Taiwan and Nepal have legalized same-sex marriage. While India came close to doing so last year, the Supreme Court deferred the decision to Parliament.

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