Laws

THAILAND

Limited information only available for these topics

Access to Children
Adoption of Children
Age of Consent
Anti-Vilification
Artifical Insemination
Assisted Reproduction
Asylum / Refugees
Censorship
  Civil Unions
Custody of Children
Discrimination
Fostering Children
Gender Identity
Harassment
Hate Crimes
  HIV/Aids
Homosexuality
Immigration
Inheritance
In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)
Marriage
Military
  Partners
Parenting
Property
Sodomy
Surrogacy
Transgender, Transsexual
Violence
Wrongful Death

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Age of Consent Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

According to the Prostitution Prevention and Suppression Act, "child" means a person who is not yet over 18 years of age [R1.1].

R1.1 Interpol: Sexual offences against children (Accessed 01 JUN 09)
Assisted Reproduction, Artificial Insemination
In Vitro Fertilisation, Surrogacy
Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

On 21 February 2015, the Parliament was reported to have passed legislation banning foreigners and same-sex couples from seeking surrogacy services. Only married Thai couples or couples with one Thai partner who have been married at least three years can seek surrogacy, and commercial surrogacy is banned [R1.3].

On 27 November 2014, the Parliament reportedly passed the first reading of a bill 177-2 making commercial surrogacy unlawful. The Bill imposes a punishment of up to 10 years in jail and bans middlemen and agencies from 'receiving any assets or benefits' [R1.2].

On 16 August 2014, it was reported that the newly formed military dominated national assembly is considering draft laws banning commercial surrogacy however, an Australian same-sex couple arrived in Bankok having been allowed to depart the country with their newborn twins [R1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 26 April 2016, the Bangkok Juvenile and Family Court ruled that the legal guardian of the child Carmen Lake is Gordon Lake, her biological father from the US. Patidta Kusolsang, the Thai surrogate mother, carried an implaneted donor egg fertilized by Mr Lake and wanted to keep the child after she found out the American and his Spanish partner Manuel Santos were gay. Subject to there being no appeal, Lake and his partner Manuel Santos will be able to leave Thailand and return to Spain, where they live [R2.1].

R1.3 LGBTQnation: Thailand bans foreigners, same-sex couples from seeking surrogacy services 21 FEB 15
R1.2 GayStarNews: Thailand votes to ban commercial surrogacy 01 DEC 14
R1.1 ABC News: Australian same-sex couple allowed to leave Thailand with newborn twins 16 AUG 14
R1.1 BBCnews: Gay couple win custody battle against Thai surrogate mother 26 APR 16
Censorship, Freedom of Expression, Free Speech, Right of Assembly Legislation/Cases/References
1.

Courts & Tribunals

On 25 December 2015, Administrative Court affirmed the 2010 ban imposed by the Culture Ministry's National Film Board, ruling that a gay-themed film, 'Insects in the Backyard', contains a three-second scene showing graphic sexual intercourse in violation of the Section 287 of the Criminal Code which bans content that “has impacts on morality and social decency” [R1.1].

R1.1 BangkokPost: Court ruling affirms gay-themed film violates Criminal Code
Children: Access, Custody, Guardianship, Visitation Legislation/Cases/References
1.

Courts & Tribunals

On 26 April 2016, the Bangkok Juvenile and Family Court ruled that the legal guardian of the child Carmen Lake is Gordon Lake, her biological father from the US. Patidta Kusolsang, the Thai surrogate mother, carried an implaneted donor egg fertilized by Mr Lake and wanted to keep the child after she found out the American and his Spanish partner Manuel Santos were gay. Subject to there being no appeal, Lake and his partner Manuel Santos will be able to leave Thailand and return to Spain, where they live [R1.1].

R1.1 BBCnews: Gay couple win custody battle against Thai surrogate mother 26 APR 16
Civil Unions, Partners: Domestic, Registered Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

On 30 May 2017, it was reported that Pitikan Sithidej, director-general of the Rights and Liberties Protection Department at the Justice Ministry, said he received a petition on 17 May signed by nearly 60,000 people to set the wheels in motion again on a stalled civil unions bill and will push for getting the bill approved at the earliest possible date [R1.3].

On 18 September 2013, Naras Savestanan, director general of the Rights and Liberties Protection Department, announced a same-sex civil-union Bill would be introduced to the Parliament [R1.2].

On 17 December 2012, the Government was reported to have formed a committee to draft legislation on civil-partnership law for same-sex couples. The timetable for drafting recognition of same-sex partnerships was tentatively six weeks. [R1.1].

R1.3 BangkokPost: Ministry to revive gay rights bill 30 MAY 17
R1.2 TheNation: Same-sex marriage on the horizon 19 SEP 13
R1.1 GayStarNews: Thai government drafting same-sex civil partnership law 17 DEC 12
Discrimination Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

On 10 September 2015, it was reported that the 'Gender Equality Act 2015' was implemented, protecting people from unfair discrimination among the sexes and this is defined as any action that “segregates, obstructs or limits the rights” of a person because they have “a sexual expression different from that person's original sex.” The law imposes fines of up to 20,000 baht and/or up to six months in prison [R1.2].

In January 1997, the authority governing teacher training in Thailand announced that people known to be gay or lesbian would be banned from enrolling in colleges because they allegedly set a bad example for students [R1.1].

R1.2 GayTimes: Thailand introduces first law to protect LGBT people 10 SEP 15
R1.1 IGLHRC: 1997 Year in Review 02 JAN 98
Westside Observer : Teacher Training Ban 16 JAN 97
Gender Identity, Intersex,
Transgender, Transexual

[?]
Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [MILITARY]
1.

National

On 10 September 2015, it was reported that the 'Gender Equality Act 2015' was implemented, protecting people from unfair discrimination among the sexes and this is defined as any action that “segregates, obstructs or limits the rights” of a person because they have “a sexual expression different from that person's original sex.” The law imposes fines of up to 20,000 baht and/or up to six months in prison [R1.5].

On 15 January 2015, Constitution Drafting Committee Panel spokesman Kamnoon Sittisamarn said that the constitution will include the term “third gender” for the first time and ensure all sexual identities were protected under the constitution and treated equally by the law. The measure will go to the National Reform Council by April and must be approved by the ruling junta, also known as the National Council for Peace and Order [R1.4].

In December 2009, a council of Thai university presidents denied a request from a transgender advocacy group to allow male students to wear dresses at graduation ceremonies [R1.3].

In November 2009, the Government introduced stricter rules requiring patients seeking gender reassignment surgery to live and dress as the opposite gender for a year before surgery and to be over 18. Men aged between 18 and 20 must also gain parental consent. They must also undergo a mental evaluation before the procedure and attend appointments with a psychiatrist afterwards [R1.2].

In April 2001, Thailand's ambassador to Germany, Kaset Piron, announced plans for the Thai Government to issue special 'before and after' passports for transgenders and transvestites [R1.1].

R1.5 GayTimes: Thailand introduces first law to protect LGBT people 10 SEP 15
R1.4 VioiceOfAmerica: Panel: Thailand to Recognize ‘Third Gender’ in New Constitution 15 JAN 15
R1.3 Melbourne Community Voice: New Passports for Trannies 20 APR 01
R1.2 The Advocate: Cross-Dressing Banned at Thai Graduations 14 DEC 09
R1.1 PinkNews.co.uk: Thailand to limit gender reassignment surgery 27 NOV 09
R1.3 Melbourne Community Voice: New Passports for Trannies 20 APR 01

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HIV Aids Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [MILITARY]
1.

National

In April 2008, after complaints by gay Thais about the screening process employed by The Red Cross of Thailand, which effectively barred them from donating blood, the organisation said it will change its modus operandi [R1.2].

In 1995, an AIDS Centre was reportedly forced to move after locals first bombed it and then an unidentified gunman shot into it. The Provincial AIDS Committee and the police encouraged the centre to relocate [R1.1].

R1.2 MCV: Thai Gay Blood OK 17 APR 08
R1.1 ILGA: Annual Report - Part 1 96
Homosexuality, Sodomy Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

In January 2002, the Department of Mental Health in Thailand declared that homosexuality is neither a mental problem nor a disease [R1.2].

In 1956, provisions making sodomy a punishable offence were repealed and consensual sex between same-sex couples became lawful [R1.1].

R1.2 Melbourne Community Voice: Thailand Reclassifies Homosexuality 10 JAN 03
R1.1 ILGA: Annual Report 1996 - Part II 96
Military Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

In September 2011, the Defence Ministry reportedly agreed to stop classifying katoeys and male-to-female transgender conscripts as having a "permanent mental disorder" and will instead use the term "gender identity disorder" by April 2012 [R1.6].

In March 2011, terms referring to transgender men will be altered, reportedly from April.

"Type 1" will refer to men "whose appearances are typical of men", "Type 2" will refer to men who have undergone breast enhancement surgery and "Type 3" will describe those who have undergone sexual reassignment surgery. If the number of Type 1 conscriptees is insufficient, Type 2 men will be conscripted, despite their female-like breasts [R1.5].


In August 2005, the Thai Government and military reportedly had removed all restrictions on gays and transsexuals serving in the army [R1.4].

Previously:

In March 2003, the Thai military planned to make gay men and transgendered individuals exempt from the draft [R1.3].


In December 1998, Thailand's army wanted to introduce new screening procedures to weed out potential recruits infected with the HIV virus, according to military sources [R1.2].


In December 1997, the Thai army developed tests to be launched in April (1998), necessitated by the growing number of recruits who have had transsexual operations. Those who had completely changed their sex are automatically disqualified, as are those who have had really huge breast implants. "Fakers" who had had small breast implants to get out of the army may be posted to secretarial positions [R1.1].

R1.6 Fridae: Thai transgender conscripts no longer "insane" 02 SEP 11
R1.5 The Advocate: Thai Army Changes Terms for Trans Men 21 MAR 11
R1.4 MCV: Gay and Trannie Soldiers OK in Thailand 19 AUG 05
R1.3 Gay Financial Network: Gay Soldiers Will Make Thai Military Collapse 25 MAR 03
R1.2 The Australian: Thai Troops Face HIV Tests 01 DEC 98
R1.1 The Age: Tran Spotters the Latest Weapon for Bankok 18 DEC 97

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