BANGKOK - On a sweltering Saturday night in Bangkok's Patpong entertainment district, a group of men spill out of a neon-lit bar blasting dance music. Among them is Aashif Hassan and his long-term partner, both visitors from Malaysia.

"We're celebrating tonight. Where we're from, it's illegal to be gay. Here we feel liberated," said Hassan.

Known for its laissez-faire attitude, Thailand has positioned itself as a holiday destination for gay couples and could soon be cashing in on another niche market if a proposed law makes it the first Asian country to legalize gay marriage.