Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - LBGT community to be respected: PM

LBGT community to be respected: PM

LBGT community to be respected: PM

Prime Minister Hun Sen urged Cambodians to be more receptive towards homosexuality in a speech delivered a day after the gay community celebrated Human Rights Day.

In response to same sex couples demanding equal rights during Cambodian celebrations of International Human Rights Day, Hun Sen called on the public to be more tolerant of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

“They do not want to be this way, but they are [born] like that,” the premier said during  a speech given at a land titling ceremony in Kep province.

Ou Virak, president of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights, was heartened that the prime minister publicly acknowledged the problem of discrimination against the LGBT community.

“Any comment made by our leaders, particularly people who lead opinions of the public, is welcome. We are happy that he said it,” Virak told the Post.

He added that his rights group would continue to push for Hun Sen’s words to be put into action, noting that the government has to do more to end discrimination and open up opportunities to members of the LGBT community.

“His government and ruling party has enough seats and power to influence the outcome of policies,” he said.

Srun Srorn, a facilitator at Rainbow Community Kampuchea, said that while the comment might have been a political move, he also believed that Hun Sen personally supports the LGBT community now despite announcing he would disown his lesbian adopted daughter in 2007.

He also thought that the  passing of the beloved King Father Norodom Sihanouk might have influenced Hun Sen.

The late king had endorsed same-sex marriages in 2004, although there is no law on same-sex marriages now in Cambodia.

Hun Sen caused controversy in 2007 when he told a graduation ceremony he was disappointed with his adopted daughter, who was a lesbian, while appealing to the crowds not to discriminate against the gays.

 

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephanie Ip at [email protected]

With assistance from Mom Kunthear

MOST VIEWED

  • Forest rangers seek 1,210 rifles after serious attacks

    The Ministry of Environment sought permission from the Ministry of National Defence to arm municipal and provincial rangers with 1,210 rifles in response to one of its rangers being killed and two others critically assaulted while out on patrol in Mondulkiri and Kampong Thom provinces. In

  • Rainsy stopped in Paris from boarding Thai flight

    Airline officials at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport on Thursday prevented Sam Rainsy from boarding his flight to Bangkok ahead of his announced return to Cambodia on Saturday. Prime Minister Hun Sen had earlier in the day assured Phnom Penh residents that there would be

  • Analyst: Rainsy blocked from boarding flight 'an excuse'

    THAI Airways not allowing Sam Rainsy on its route from Paris to Bangkok on Thursday is being used as an excuse to keep his standing among fellow coup plotters and his uninformed supporters as flights to non-Asean countries are available, an analyst said on Friday.

  • Rainsy lands in Malaysia

    Cambodian opposition figure Sam Rainsy arrived in Kuala Lumpur airport on Saturday afternoon after boarding a flight from Paris, where he has been living for more than four years. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation spokesperson Koy Kuong said on Saturday that Cambodia respected

  • Prayut indicates no entry into Thailand for CNRP’s Rainsy

    Cambodian government officials on Wednesday welcomed the position of Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha after he indicated that Sam Rainsy would not be allowed to return to Cambodia through Thailand. “According to our commitment to Asean, we will not interfere in each other’s internal

  • Sokha continues call for dropping of charge after bail conditions reduced

    Not satisfied with having his bail conditions reduced, allowing him to travel freely in Cambodia, Kem Sokha says he wants his charge totally dropped. “As an innocent man who has been in detention for two years even without being found guilty, I continue to demand