|THAILAND - Jun 12, 2007
The Thai Assembly drafting a new constitution under the Kingdom's current military junta has voted not to include protection for Thai LGBT. Once famed for its tolerance, Thailand has taken another step backward in not protecting the human rights of all of its citizens.
The Assembly debated for two and a half hours whether or not to include the term "diverse sexualities" in its protections for men and women and to forbid discrimination against "sexual diversities."
Because Thailand has never had neutral official terms for LGBT, part of the debate revolved around whether or not this category was of great enough importance to include and whether it would be clearly understood. One assemblyman stated that including such people would "make Thai society weak".
Several Assembly men and women did speak out for the need to include LGBT, trying to clarify who LGBT are and what kind of discrimination and misunderstanding they face in Thai society.
Only 23 of 79 Assembly members voted to include protections for LGBT.
The debate was broadcast live to millions of Thai.
Thailand's Anjaree Group, winners of a 2000 Utopia Award, will organize a public seminar next week to address the myths and misunderstandings concerning LGBT and to encourage the Assembly to reconsider its exclusion of the LGBT community.