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Gay marriage a first for Khon Kaen

KHON KAEN — This northeastern province saw its first same-sex marriage when two men tied the knot in Phu Pha Man district on Saturday.

By Bangkok Post

Sunday 12 July 2015, 12:54PM

Choengchai Plubpiboon, 42, the owner of the stainless steel maker P.B. Metal Co Ltd, led a joyous khan mak engagement procession to the house of Uthane Korasing, 30, amid cheers from relatives, friends and well-wishers from both sides.

Both Mr Choengchai and Mr Uthane wore beautiful traditional Thai clothes.

Mr Choengchai offered Mr Uthane's family 1 million baht and 10 baht-weight of gold ornaments worth 200,000 baht as a dowry, in the Thai custom.

Mr Choengchai said he had known Mr Uthane for one year and the two had become partners not long ago.

Mr Uthane earlier worked in Bangkok but had returned home to help with his family's rice and sugarcane fields.

Mr Uthane, who holds an MBA from Rajabhat Univerty's Suan Dusit campus in Bangkok, was working at a construction materials trading company in the capital when he met Mr Choengchai.

"As part of our work, we got to know each other and we found we share the same attitudes and values," he said. "Above all, we love our families above all else. So I decided this is the right one for me."

Thongchai Plubpiboon, Mr Choengchai's father, said his son had told him 15 years ago he was a homosexual.

BIS Phuket

"Our family accepts him as he is," he said. "He's hard working and has built a business for the family so that we have everything. What he needed was the right partner.

"When my son told us he would like to marry Uthane, I was shocked and then I felt happy for him. He finally found a good partner who understands him. I'm very happy for them."

Early in November last year, two women married in a similar traditional ceremony in Nakhon Ratchasima with the blessings of their families.

Same-sex marriage is not yet legally recognised in Thailand. The former Pheu Thai government first proposed a law in 2013 and the Democrat and Pheu Thai parties set up a joint panel to draft the bill last year. It remains unclear what happened to the bill after the May 22, 2014 coup.

Several civic groups have supported the bill and some even have their own versions submitted to Parliament. Seminars and hearings have also been held and the bill has received strong support from the Justice Ministry.

Under the bill, two Thai citizens aged 20 or over would be able to register their marriage provided they are not related or already married to someone else.

A couple would then enjoy the same rights as any heterosexual married couple, including the right to inherit as well as tax privileges. 

Original story here.



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