Thailand’s Cabinet on Tuesday approved an amendment to its civil code to allow same-sex marriage, with an expectation for the draft to be submitted to Parliament next month.
Karom Polpornklang, a deputy government spokesperson, said the amendment to the Civil and Commercial Code will change the words “men and women” and “husband and wife” to “individuals” and “marriage partners” for same-sex couples to be able to receive the same rights that heterosexual couples receive.
He said the law would guarantee the right to form a family in a relationship between same-sex couples, adding that the next step will be an amendment to the pension fund law to recognize same-sex couples as well.
Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin told reporters that the draft law is expected to be proposed to Parliament on Dec. 12. If it becomes law after Parliament’s approval and King Maha Vajiralongkorn’s endorsement, Thailand will be the third place in Asia, after Taiwan and Nepal, to allow same-sex marriage.
While famous for being an LGBTQ+ friendly country, Thailand has struggled to pass a marriage equality law. Parliament last year debated several legal amendments to allow either marriage equality or civil unions, which do not grant same-sex couples all the same rights as heterosexual couples. All of the bills failed to be passed before the parliamentary session of the previous government ended.
The new government led by the Pheu Thai party, which took office in August, revived the attempt to pass a marriage equality bill, which it had promised during its election campaign.
Donald Trump returned Tuesday to the civil fraud trial that imperils his real estate empire, watching and deploring the case as an employee and an outside appraiser testified that his company essentially put a thumb on the scale when sizing up his properties’ value.
Incensed by a case that disputes his net worth and could strip him of such signature holdings as Trump Tower, the former president is due to testify later in the trial. But he chose to attend the first three days and came back Tuesday to observe — and to protest his treatment to the news cameras waiting outside the Manhattan courtroom.
Star witness Michael Cohen, a onetime Trump fixer now turned foe, postponed his scheduled testimony because of a health problem.
Instead, Trump company accountant Donna Kidder testified that she was told to make some assumptions favorable to the firm on internal financial spreadsheets. Outside appraiser Doug Larson said he didn’t suggest or condone a former Trump Organization comptroller’s methods of valuing properties.
“It doesn’t make sense,” Larson said of the way the ex-controller reached a $287.6 million value for a prominent Trump-owned retail space in 2013.
Trump, outside court, reiterated his insistence that he’s done nothing wrong and that New York Attorney General Letitia James’ lawsuit is a political vendetta designed to drag down his 2024 presidential campaign as he leads the Republican field.
“We built a great company — a lot of cash, it’s got a lot of great assets, some of the greatest real estate assets anywhere in the world,” Trump said outside the courtroom. He dismissed the case as “a disgrace,” the legal system as “corrupt” and the Democratic attorney general as a “radical lunatic.”
James’ lawsuit alleges that Trump and his company deceived banks, insurers and others by massively overvaluing his assets and inflating his net worth on his financial statements.
The union representing screenwriters reached a tentative agreement with Hollywood studios to end a historic strike after nearly five months, raising hopes that a crippling shutdown of movie and television filming could be near an end.
Actors remain on strike, but the deal with writers might help them find a resolution soon as well.
The Writers Guild of America announced the deal Sunday in a joint statement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, the group that represents studios, streaming services and production companies in negotiations. The agreement must be approved by the guild’s board and members before the strike officially ends. That could happen this week.
The pact “was made possible by the enduring solidarity of WGA members and extraordinary support of our union siblings who joined us on the picket lines for over 146 days,” the guild said in an email to members.
In a longer message from the guild shared by members on social media, the writers were told the strike is not over and no one was to return to work until hearing otherwise, but picketing was to be suspended immediately.
The three-year contract agreement emerged after five marathon days of renewed talks by WGA and AMPTP negotiators, who were joined at times by studio executives. The terms were not immediately announced. The deal to end the last writers strike, in 2008, was approved by more than 90% of union members.
Media and entertainment companies got a small boost from the news. Shares in Warner Bros. Discovery, Paramount, Disney and Netflix all rose about 2% or less on Monday.
An Oklahoma judge has thrown out a lawsuit seeking reparations for the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, dashing an effort to obtain some measure of legal justice by survivors of the deadly racist rampage.
Judge Caroline Wall on Friday dismissed with prejudice the lawsuit trying to force the city and others to make recompense for the destruction of the once-thriving Black district known as Greenwood.
The order comes in a case by three survivors of the attack, who are all now over 100 years old and sued in 2020 with the hope of seeing what their attorney called “justice in their lifetime.”
Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum said in a statement that the city has yet to receive the full court order. “The city remains committed to finding the graves of 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre victims, fostering economic investment in the Greenwood District, educating future generations about the worst event in our community’s history, and building a city where every person has an equal opportunity for a great life,” he said.
A lawyer for the survivors — Lessie Benningfield Randle, Viola Fletcher and Hughes Van Ellis — did not say Sunday whether they plan to appeal. But a group supporting the lawsuit suggested they are likely to challenge Wall’s decision.
“Judge Wall effectively condemned the three living Tulsa Race Massacre Survivors to languish — genuinely to death — on Oklahoma’s appellate docket,” the group, Justice for Greenwood, said in a statement. “There is no semblance of justice or access to justice here.”
Wall, a Tulsa County District Court judge, wrote in a brief order that she was tossing the case based on arguments from the city, regional chamber of commerce and other state and local government agencies. She had ruled against the defendants’ motions to dismiss and allowed the case to proceed last year.
Local judicial elections in Oklahoma are technically nonpartisan, but Wall has described herself as a “Constitutional Conservative” in past campaign questionnaires.
The lawsuit was brought under Oklahoma’s public nuisance law, saying the actions of the white mob that killed hundreds of Black residents and destroyed what had been the nation’s most prosperous Black business district continue to affect the city today.