Well known as a "tourist haven for same-sex couples", Thailand is fast accepting the queer community. Gay Star News reported on 6th November 2018 that the Thai government will soon hold public hearings on the same sex marriage bill until 20th of this month in a bid to prepare for the referendum later on 24th November. This will decide whether to amend the civil code or introduce a new separate legislation on LGBT rights as announced by the Central Election Commission. If this legislation is enacted before the end of the year, Thailand will emerge as the first country to legalize same sex marriages in Asia.
Some critics however believe that this is a government strategy to advance its political interests by gaining support from both the LGBTI and International communities come next elections in February 2019. Though this might be the case, most pro-gay activists are in this for the long haul.
Homosexuality has been legal in Thailand since 1956 and the civil partnerships bill was first drafted in 2013. A landmark ruling was made in May 2017 when the supreme court decided that it was unconstitutional not to recognize same sex unions. In the same verdict, the government was given until May 2019 to constitutionalize marriage equality or else the bill will become automatically legal with or without the consensus of the Thai parliament. It goes without say that there is mounting resistance from anti-gay campaigners for the past few months. Like several anti-LGBT supporters in Uganda, the Coalition For The Happiness of Our Next Generation claims that the idea of same sex marriage entirely undermines society's moral principles and values, stipulating that marriage must be strictly between man and woman.
In one of the discussions about the reintroduction of the Anti-Homosexuality Act during a parliamentarian sitting in April this year, the Bufubira East Member of Parliament, Nsaba Buturo said that the time has come for Members of Parliament to seize the opportunity and reject same sex marriages at once. Another Member of Parliament, Beatrice Anywar was in support. She said, "Since the court frustrated our efforts to protect this country, the time has come to reintroduce this bill and pass it with care this time." This conversation on gay unions still triggers negative discussions from a large percentage of the general public on all forums, in which violence and anti-homosexual discrimination are also advocated for. The laws of the constitution deny a safe environment for gay relationships and unions in Uganda, grappling every basic human right to equality including marriage.
Grace, an LGBT activist and in a long term relationship with her partner said in regards to constitutionalizing same sex marriages, "Am all for it. I can't be in an illegitimate relationship all my life. My love deserves better and it is why I will keep on fighting for equal rights." Even though holding on to this concept is clutching at straws, LGBT and Human Rights activists should persist on advocating for LGBT rights. This will shape a greater understanding of equal rights for all including the sexual and gender minorities beyond the hate speech and the broad general societal perceptions.