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Members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community watch performances at 2014's Pride Week in Phnom Penh’s Tuol Kork district.
Members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community watch performances at 2014's Pride Week in Phnom Penh’s Tuol Kork district. Charlotte Pert

Program to deal with LGBT issues in works

The Ministry of Information says it is working with LGBT rights groups to create a regular radio program that discusses LGBT issues, with the aim of making society more welcoming.

Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith is cooperating with NGO Cam-ASEAN Youth Future founder Srun Srorn, who will organise the program.

The radio show will discuss human rights and the needs of the LGBT communities, such as the right to get legal recognition for married status.

“LGBTs are also human beings, they are not deputy humans,” said Kanharith. “They are part of society.”

Kanharith on Tuesday organised a meeting with representatives from the Ministries of Health, Education, Interior, and Women’s Affairs.

He told them that it’s important to engage LGBT people because they are marginalised and made to feel unwelcome.

In a survey last December, about a third of the hundreds of LGBT respondents said they were completely closeted, with many stuck in straight relationships.

Nearly half of straight respondents, meanwhile, reported they would reject their own child if he or she revealed themselves as LGBT.

Srorn said he hopes to get about 1 million listeners per year, especially people from the countryside, where national radio remains popular.

“I very much appreciate that the Ministry of Information supports us and wants to help us solve some problems, and I hope that other ministries would learn from the Ministry of Information,” said Srorn.

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