Thailand

At a glance

  • Same-sex relations: legal
  • Legal gender recognition: not possible
  • Registration of LGBTIQ organizations: possible
  • Actions related to SOGi at UN: supported IE SOGI in 2016

 

Overview

Thailand is progressive on LGBTIQ issues; however, LGBTIQ people still face many barriers to full equality. While large cities, like Bangkok, are LGBTIQ friendly, rural parts of the country remain conservative on LGBTIQ issues. In 2015, The Gender Equality Act passed, making discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity illegal. However, the act allows for religious exceptions, as well as exceptions in education and for “the public interest.”These exceptions significantly weaken the force of this otherwise progressive law.

LGBTIQ people are discriminated against in employment and are pressured to join the entertainment industry. Thai media accurately and sympathetically addresses LGBTIQ issues, even as LGBTIQ people experience stigmatization in their daily lives. Although transgender people are visible in society, and gender reassignment surgeries are readily available, there is no path to legal gender recognition, leaving trans people vulnerable. Same-sex marriage is not allowed in Thailand; however, in 2019, LGBTIQ activists submitted a legal challenge to this law. Because only married couples are permitted to adopt, same-sex couple adoptions are also illegal in Thailand. Several political parties publicly express support for LGBTIQ people’s human rights, and the largest party in Parliament supports same-sex marriage.