Lesbian couple wows neighbors with wedding

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Same-sex marriage may not be legal in Thailand, but that didn’t stop two women from informally tying the knot in a community ceremony that had all the neighbors talking.

The “groom”, Chanat Khamnet, 32, got the wedding procession started in the Nong Mamao neighborhood of Banglamung’s Moo 4 village March 8, carrying a betel bowl down the street to the home of the “bride”, Naruemol Munghangern, 24.

Chanat’s 73-year-old mother and father, Jirapong Janngam, assistant dean of accounting at Sripathum University’s Chonburi campus, followed behind with the dowry of 400,000 baht cash, 22 gold amulets, a diamond ring, diamond earrings and a Toyota Fortuner.

Chanat and Naruemol are married during a ceremony Nong Mamao village.Chanat and Naruemol are married during a ceremony Nong Mamao village.

They presented the “sin sot” worth more than 2 million baht in total to Naruemol’s parents, Pongsak and Nittiya Munghangern.

The bride and groom then exchanged rings and sprinkling of holy water to consummate the marriage.

Same-sex couples in Thailand are not afforded any of the legal protections or benefits given to heterosexual marriages, although the new constitution being drafted reportedly will offer something akin to legal registration.

Chant, the “tomboy” in the relationship, said she met Naruemol while the feminine “Dee” was a student at Sripathum where she worked. She said neither set of parents were against the lesbian relationship.

“I want to spend the rest of my life building a warm family, a family that can tell the world that our relationship has gone beyond gender issues,” Chant said. She added that the sunny and happy bride nicely balanced her often hot-tempered personality.

Naruemol said she was delighted to be married and said Chanat always takes care of her.