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Advance for Gay rights in Chiang Mai

The Administrative Court in Chiang Mai yesterday, reinstated rights of homosexual and transgender people, which the Court ruled had been incorrectly curtailed by the Chiang Mai municipality. The court action, brought by prominent gay activist Natee Teerarotchanapong, was in response to a regulation regarding the participants on parade floats involved in last year’s Loy Krathong parade and competition. By restricting the gender of those participating, Natee contested that it was unconstitutional as it discriminate against the involvement of gay or transgendered people and the court agreed ruling it unlawful.

After the ruling, Natee called for a halt to all forms of discrimination by state offices and called the ruling a “positive sign”. Read more: The Nation: Court shoots down anti-gay rule

No stranger to controversy in Chiang Mai, Gay Natee has plenty of supporters and some critics. In November 2009 he protested against the now defunct Power Boys Gay Go-Go which, it was alleged used advertising posters that were inappropriate for the Lanna cultural environment of Chiang Mai. Read more: Chiang Mai Mail: ‘Gay Natee’ files complaint against new bar

Gay Natee protesting
Gay Natee - From Chiang Mai Mail

Earlier in 2009 he had a vocal role in opposing the Chiang Mai Gay Pride parade. The parade subsequently degenerated into one the most disgraceful homophobic event in Chiang Mai’s history when hundreds of thugs from the UDD Red Shirt supporters physically threatened parade participants and forced the march and celebrations to be cancelled. Read more: Chiang Mai Mail: Gay Pride march halted by red shirt militants

Thugs halt gay parade
Red Shirt Thugs halt gay parade - Chiang Mai Mail

The events of 21 February were much reviled in the press with headlines like:

Kiss Thailand’s Tolerance for Gays Goodbye

No place for gays in Chiang Mai culture?

Gay Pride in Chiang Mai. A pride or a disgrace for Chiang Mai?

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