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Thai couple Pattanachat Monkhatha, left, and Vitaya Saeng-Aroon have been together for five years.
Thailand May Lead Most of Asia-Pacific on Same-Sex Benefits

in THAILAND, 27/09/2013

The Thai government plans to introduce a landmark civil-partnership bill that will extend most marriage benefits to same-sex couples, a move that would put Thailand at the forefront of the gay-rights movement in most of the Asian-Pacific region.

The Thai civil-partnership bill, drafted by a Parliament-appointed committee, aims to allow gay men and lesbians who are at least 20 years old to enter into a civil partnership.

New Zealand only last month became the first country in the Asian-Pacific region to begin allowing same-sex couples to marry. Meanwhile, Vietnam said in June it is considering getting rid of restrictions that prevent its same-sex couples from marrying.

"The partnership will give [same-sex couples] rights, benefits and protection similar to most rights granted to heterosexual couples," said Naras Savestanan, director of the Justice Ministry's Department of Rights and Liberties Protection that intends to sponsor the bill.

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