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The Civil Partnership Bill stipulates that civil partnerships would be restricted to couples whose members are at least 20 years old. - Reuters

BANGKOK: Thailand’s cabinet has endorsed a Civil Partnership Bill which would allow same-sex couples to enter into a legally-recognised civil institution similar to marriage.

With the move, Thailand has become the first Asian country to consider a bill for same-sex unions, Vietnam News Agency (VNA) reported.

Spokesperson for the deputy prime minister for economic affairs, Natporn Jatusripitak, said that the cabinet endorsed the bill to allow all same-sex couples the right to start their own families.

The bill stipulates that civil partnerships would be restricted to couples whose members are at least 20 years old. At least one partner would have to be a Thai citizen, and the civil partnership could be dissolved voluntarily, in the event of the passing of one partner or via court ruling.

The Thai cabinet will now send the bill for deliberation by the National Legislative Assembly (NLA). Once passed by the legislature, the law would be promulgated in the Royal Government Gazette 120 days before taking effect.

Earlier this week, the NLA approved the use of cannabis under medical supervision – making Thailand the first Southeast Asian country to legalise medical marijuana.

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