Civil partnerships bill sparks debate in Thailand

By : Victor Maung OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Thailand could become the first country in Asia to endorse same-sex marriage after a bill that would allow same-sex unions was approved.

The country’s Cabinet approved the civil partnership bill on Dec. 25, which has sparked debate among members of the LGBTI community. The move is seen as a milestone in efforts to improve legal rights for the estimated 6 million LGBTI people — an estimated 8 percent of the country’s total population — who live in Thailand.

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Brunei embraces strict Islamic laws

By : Wire Report
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Bendar Seri Begawan, Brunei (AP) – Brunei on May 1 embraced a form of Islamic Shariah criminal law that includes harsh penalties for being gay, a move slammed by international rights group as a step backward for human rights.

The tiny Southeast Asian nation began phasing in a version of Shariah that allows for penalties such as amputation for theft and stoning for adultery and gay behavior. Most of the punishments can be applied to non-Muslims, who account for about one-third of the 440,000 people in the oil-rich country.

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