Home Business Sun Legal Update

Sun Legal Update: Consumer Confidence Up, Same-Sex Marriage Moves Forward

Sun Legal Sunbelt Update

The University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce reported that the Consumer Confidence Index rose from 40.2 in May to 41.6 in June, increasing for the first time in six months due to the reopening of the country to tourism and the easing of Covid-19 control measures for businesses.

The UTCC predicts that consumer purchasing power will improve by the end of the third quarter as a result of economic recovery boosted by businesses open at night and tourism.

Same Sex Marriage Bills Reach Parliament

On June 2, 2022, the Cabinet approved the Life Partnership Bill which, if enacted, would legalize same sex unions. This bill, along with three other similar bills, have already passed their first reading in Parliament.

Each bill proposes different approaches to same-sex partnerships and offers different rights and obligations. All four bills have had an initial reading, but modifications are expected before a second reading, including the possibility that some may be combined.

The Life Partnership Bill proposed by the Cabinet creates a separate type of union between two people called “life partners”. They will be able to register their partnership with the government for legal recognition, but the bill does fall short of using the term marriage or spouse.

Under the bill, the age limit to register a partnership will be 17, one partner must be Thai, and those considered mentally incapacitated will not be able to marry. Marriage between blood relatives is also not allowed nor will bigamy or polygamy be allowed.

The proposed bill recognizes and provides registered civil partners with the same rights as those of married heterosexual couples under the civil and commercial codes. For example, life partners will be allowed to adopt, inherit, act on behalf of the partner in criminal cases and jointly manage assets.

The Move Forward Party has proposed a bill with more far-reaching rights including renaming marriage as between two people and offering a same-sex spouse the ability to apply for naturalization as a result of marriage to a Thai national under the Nationality Act.

However, several issues have not been addressed in any of the proposed bills including whether or not a foreign partner would be entitled to a one-year visa, if same-sex partnerships registered outside Thailand will be recognized within the country regardless of their nationality, and tax and probate issues.

Sun Legal will continue to follow developments in Parliament on these bills and track the changes as they are made. The process will take time but the fact that these bills have already been read in Parliament is a step forward to marriage equality in Thailand.

Fill out my online form.