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Facebook friendship blossoms into gay marriage in Thailand

in THAILAND, 09/01/2012

Having found each other on Facebook and dated for three years, 27-year-old Thongchai Rattanakaew wed his 30-year-old florist boyfriend Chumwit Sudsai in front of their parents and 200 guests in Trang's Huay Yot district yesterday.

Chumwit's mother, Jinda Sudsai, said she had known her son was homosexual since he was young, but she had never criticised him because he was a good person and didn't cause any problems to society. She also encouraged him to join beauty contests, eventually leading to his victory in the Miss Krabi Fairies 2011 title, she said. She gave her blessing and consent to his wedding because it made him happy, and because society was now more open to same-sex marriage.

Jinda said her family sought no money or assets from the "groom" - as she described Thongchai; the families speak of Chumwit as the "bride" - beyond the gold-and-diamond wedding ring, because love and understanding were more important than money.

She said she planned to open a restaurant for her son-in-law to run because he cooked very well.

Chumwit said he initially added Thongchai - who had served as a private at Chon Buri's Sattahip Navy Base - as a Facebook friend because they were fellow southerners. Impressed by Thongchai's simple, down-to-earth nature, Chumwit said the pair had been "boyfriend and girlfriend" for three years. After Thongchai came to help him at his flower shop, Chumwit proposed and Thongchai said yes.

Chumwit said they planned to continue running the flower shop, while Chumwit also taught traditional Thai dancing as a sideline.

 

 

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