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Thursday, July 05, 2007

happy endings in the land of smiles

As the world becomes increasingly inter-connected, I think it's important to start highlighting global advances in sexuality.

Seems like a good place to start is approx. 8k miles due West of here: Thailand.

Thailand is a country that is known for it's beautiful beaches, scrumptious food, hospitable people and sex workers. Sex work is a viable economic option for men, women and 'lady-boys' (mtf transsexuals). With sexuality moving out into the open, this conservative Buddhist country, has found the need to respond.

And they have.

A few sexuality-related policy changes have occurred in Thailand recently:

1) June 29th marked a huge victory for the Thai LGBT community when the government recommended adding a provision to the constitution that safeguards people of "other sexual identities" from discrimination. If adopted, this means that Thailand will become one of only four nations that have such a provision (the US is not one of those). "Other sexual identities" being identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people Many people credit LGBT activists Natee Theerarojnapong and Anjana Suvarnananda

2) About a week earlier, Thailand reformed their anti-rape laws to include married women and men. As summarized by the Feminist Majority Foundation (among others):

"The National Legislative Assembly of Thailand approved a new law last week that criminalizes marital rape. Previously, rape law could not be used to prosecute a husband who forced sex on his wife. This new law carries a monetary fine (40,000 baht, or $1,156) and up to 20 years in jail for offenders.

In addition, the definition of "victim" has been expanded so that man, too, can file rape charges against a woman or another man. This expansion has been applauded as a breakthrough by gay rights activists who have struggled to obtain rights and protection for gays, lesbians, and cross-dressers who are often targeted violently."

Way to show us how it's done, Thailand.


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