Thailand prepares massive wedding to claim LGTBI rights

Bangkok, Sep 19 (EFE).- One hundred couples said they would meet for Valentine’s Day to stage the first massive wedding of same-sex people in Thailand and raise their voices for the rights of LGTBI people as parliament discusses the legalization of gay marriage.

For the first time in the country’s history, a record number of LGTBI couples said they would formalize their link in the “Naruemit Vivah” a ceremony that proposes “to change the narrative” and remember that love is for all and “not only for heterosexual couples,” Chumapon Tangkliang, the activist and organizer of the event told EFE.

“The purpose of this event is to raise awareness so society knows about LGTBI life and struggle for the right to constitute their families, as well as advocate for legal protection, in that case equal marriage,” she said.

That same day, the huge gardens of the Central Youth Stadium in Bangkok is scheduled to host the collective wedding, a gastronomic festival, a photographic exhibition and various musical presentations.

The event occurs at a key moment for the LGTBI collective in Thailand, whose parliament took a first step in June by admitting two proposals to legalize civil unions or same -sex marriages, although they must pass another lower house vote, a senate vote, the Constitutional Court and be ratified by the king.

Chumapon said that in February, the group wedding would have different meanings depending on the possible outcomes in the legislative sphere.

“If on Feb. 14 the bill of equal marriage has been approved, this event will be a celebration. If it has not yet been approved, it means that we will be pressing to be approved,” she said.

She added that, if at the time the bill has been rejected, the participants will collect signatures so that the matter is once again processed in parliament until it receives the approval.

Although it usually occurs as a paradise of “pink tourism,” LGTBI people in the country still lack rights such as marrying, adopting children or even being able to change their name or gender in identity documents.

In recent years, however, the long struggle of the LGTBI community that dates back to the 1980s, has borne some fruit.

In 2015, the government approved a law that prohibits gender discrimination and, two months ago, an NGOs presented for the first time the outline of a bill for gender recognition. EFE


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