Thailand just introduced its first law designed to protect LGBT people. “Unfair discrimination among the sexes,” as defined by actions that “segregate, obstruct, or limit” the rights of LGBT people, is now punishable by up to six months in jail and fines of up to $20,000.
The 2015 Gender Equality Act originally set aside exemptions regarding education and religion, but those provisions were promptly removed from an earlier draft. Thus, the new law will also forbid lawmakers from pursuing anti-gay policies and regulatory measures.
“Co-operation from all sectors is key in moving forward with the enforcement of this Act, in order to create an equal and just society,” said Somchai Charoenamnuaysuk, Director-General of the Department of Family Affairs and Family Development.
Many hope Thailand’s gender inclusivity will pave the way for further reform in regards to same-sex marriage, which continues to be illegal. Transgender people, however, are allowed to change their legal gender, and the Thai government is currently in talks over a civil unions bill and amendments to the constitution.
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