Thailand could become the first Southeast Asian country to legalize same-sex marriage, and Tunisia put on its first LGBT play.

Thailand To Become First Southeast Asian Country To Legalize Same-Sex Unions

Thailand has ratified a bill that would make it the first country in Southeast Asia to permit same-sex marriages.

According to Ratchada Thanadirek, a government spokesman, the Cabinet accepted the draft law after hearing from LGBT and religious groups who did not object to the proposal. Before becoming law, the bill will be sent to Parliament for approval.

The measure does not endorse same-sex marriage, but it does allow couples to adopt children, manage assets and obligations jointly, and enjoy inheritance and legacy rights amongst partners, all of which are now prohibited by law.

According to Bloomberg, if enacted, Thailand will become Asia's second country to legalize same-sex marriage, following Taiwan in 2019. The Cabinet's decision comes six months after the Constitutional Court declared that legislation should be modified to provide broader rights for LGBT people, but that marriage equality should not be granted.


Tunisia Stages First LGBT Play


 The cast of "Flagranti." Screenshot via Mawjoudin/Twitter.

Tunis, Tunisia's capital, has hosted the world premiere of Tunisia's first LGBT play.

In a country where same-sex actions are punished by prison sentences, director Essia Jaibi's latest film tries to challenge orthodox perceptions.

"Flagranti" (or "In the Act"), according to Jaibi, deals with "a reality that we pretend not to perceive."

The production, which was co-produced by the LGBTQ rights organization Mawjoudin (which means "we exist"), is performed by six primarily amateur actors ranging in age from 23 to 71, and it reflects the country's decades-long battle for homosexual rights.

It chronicles the experiences of people who have been victims of violence at home, at work, and in public, and is infused with dark comedy.

According to Africa News, Tunisia is viewed as more liberal on social problems than other Arab countries, although it imposes prison penalties of up to three years for both men and women for "sodomy."