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FILE PHOTO: Thai LGBT community participates in Gay Freedom Day Parade in Bangkok, Thailand November 29, 2018.

REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun/File Photo

Thailand Moves One Step Closer to Marriage Equality

Thailand’s House of Representatives approved a bill aiming to secure legal recognition of same-sex marriages, a historic first in Southeast Asia. It passed with overwhelming support: 400 votes in favor and 10 against. The bill will ensure all couples equal rights under the law in key areas like marital tax savings, property inheritance, medical rights, and child adoption.

Thailand is known for being one of the few safe havens for the LGBTQ+ community on a continent with historically restrictive laws. Thai law lagged public opinion, with polls showing as many as 96.6% of respondents supporting same-sex marriage legalization. The country is known internationally for its thriving, public social scene, as well as by many media watchers for their hugely popular queer “Boy Love (BL)” dramas and RuPaul’s Drag Race spinoff.

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People walk next to damaged trees in the aftermath of Hurricane Otis, in Acapulco, Mexico, on Oct. 29, 2023.

REUTERS/Quetzalli Nicte-Ha

Hard Numbers: Otis death toll mounts, Taiwanese march for marriage equality, illegal Indian migrants in the US, South Africa’s rugby win, Sweden proves No. 1

43: The death toll in Acapulco following Hurricane Otis now stands at 43. Another five were killed in nearby Coyuca de Benitez, and dozens of people remain missing. Authorities say more than 220,000 homes and 80% of the hotel sector have been damaged, while more than 513,000 people have lost power.

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Supporters of India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party celebrate initial poll results of Gujarat state assembly election.


What We're Watching: India's election kick-off, US House passes Respect for Marriage Act, Iranian protester hanged

India’s general election kick-off

Two state elections in India have delivered mixed results for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who pulled out all the stops to bolster his party in what’s widely seen as a kickoff to the 2024 general election. In the PM’s home state of Gujarat – where Modi served as the top elected official for 13 years – his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party deepened its grip on the state, reaping more than 85% of seats in the state assembly. (Modi is accused of turning a blind eye to brutal inter-ethnic riots there in 2002 that led to more than 1,000 deaths, mostly Muslims killed by Hindu vigilantes.) Meanwhile, in northern Himachal Pradesh, the incumbent BJP lost to the main opposition National Congress Party, which has struggled on the national stage in recent years. What’s more, despite a big push to maintain its 15-year grip on the city of Delhi, Modi’s party also lost a key election in the capital to the Aam Admi Party, established in 2012 on an anti-corruption platform. Still, with these races kicking off the country’s run-up to 2024, Modi is clearly the dominant political force in India: He has a staggeringly high approval rating of 77% and has overseen a booming economy that’s on track to become the world’s third largest by 2030.

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