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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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Former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

Thailand’s former PM to be paroled

Thailand’s former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra is set to be granted parole after serving just six months of an eight-year jail sentence.

A brief history: Having dominated Thai politics for a generation, Thaksin – a populist billionaire – lived in self-imposed exile for 15 years after he was ousted by the military in 2006. Convicted in absentia of graft and abuse of power in 2008, he returned to Thailand just before last autumn’s election after striking a deal with the military establishment party that originally ousted him.

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Move Forward Party leader and PM candidate Pita Limjaroenrat celebrate the party's election results in Bangkok, Thailand.

REUTERS/Jorge Silva

A guide to Thailand’s messy post-election politics

On Sunday, Thai voters shocked the ruling pro-military establishment by delivering a landslide victory for the democratic opposition. Okay, so that means the generals are out, right?

Nope.

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