BANGKOK (NEWSnet/AP) — Lawmakers in Thailand’s lower house of Parliament overwhelmingly approved a marriage equality bill on Wednesday that would make the country the first in Southeast Asia to legalize equal rights for marriage partners of any gender.

The approval came after 400 of the 415 members of the House of Representatives voted in favor.

The bill amends the Civil and Commercial Code to change the words “men and women” and “husband and wife” to “individuals” and “marriage partners.” It would open up access to full legal, financial and medical rights for LGBTQ+ couples.

The bill now goes to the Senate, which rarely rejects any legislation that passes the lower house, and then to the king for royal endorsement.

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