Thailand moves to legalize same-sex unions, rare step in Asia

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“The foundation of the homosexual unions bill is not based on equality,” said Pauline Ngarmpring, transgender and candidate for Prime Minister last year. “But it’s better than nothing,” she added. “It is not a fight that can be ended in our generation. “

Ms. Pauline, a former sports promoter, noted that she was still identified as a man on her Thai ID card and that she had to use the men’s facilities in public hospitals.

In Malaysia, Singapore and other Asian countries, gay sex is a criminal offense. Last year, Brunei promulgated laws requiring death by stoning for homosexual relations and adultery, but after an international outcry, the sultan declared that the death penalty had not been applied for decades and that the moratorium on the death penalty would continue.

This year, a Singapore judge rejected efforts to overturn infrequently applied colonial era legislation that could result in up to two years in prison for consensual sex between two men. India repealed a similar section of its penal code in 2018.

Muktita Suhartono contributed to the report.

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