Cambodian Prime Minister Speaks Out Against Discrimination

It’s not often we hear a politician from the developing world attack anti-gay bias, but Cambodian prime minister Hun Sen has done just that.

Speaking at a ceremony on Tuesday, Hun Sen said, “there are gays and lesbians in every country—there should be no discrimination against them just because of their destiny.”

Our destiny? We love this guy! (Well, maybe not: Hun Sen disinherited his daughter when she came out as a lesbian in 2007.)

He added that most gays and lesbians “are good people and are not doing alcohol, drugs or racing vehicles.”

According to the AP, Cambodia’s King Norodom Sihanouk endorsed gay marriage back in 2004. The king, who passed away in 2004, also had a way with words: He wrote on his website that “it’s not their fault if God makes them born like that. Gays and lesbians would not exist if God did not create them.”

Rest in peace, King Norodom.

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  • the other Greg

    Quibble: King Norodom Sihanouk didn’t die in 2004, he abdicated back then and died a couple months ago in 2012. Actually I was expecting Queerty to make some cute comment about his son the current king, the dancer, maybe seeming sorta/kinda gay.

    Buddhist countries tend to have a more relaxed attitude about homosexuality than monotheistic countries do. At worst it’s traditionally regarded as a threat to procreation, since in a country without a “social safety net,” having children to provide for you in your old age is your only hope of not ending up as a beggar on the streets. (Although they’re kinder to their beggars on the streets than we are, too.) A fate that most of US would be heading for, were it not for Social Security and our 401(k)s (if any).

    And there’s probably the sense that Cambodians have enough to worry about, getting over that 1975-79 genocide.

    It sounds like an awesome & relatively inexpensive tourist destination, with the mind-boggling Angkor Wat.

  • Mooz

    @the other Greg: “At worst it’s traditionally regarded as a threat to procreation ..”

    I believe that this is where all homophobia stems from.

  • the other Greg

    @Mooz: I doubt the teenage boys who bashed me (twice) were primarily worried about homosexuality as a threat to procreation.

    Sure it’s a societal factor, probably varying by society, but one of many.

  • JohnQPublic

    Hun Sen, former Khmer Rouge soldier, unofficial dictator of Cambodia and all-around homophobe, seems to have had some sort of conversion. If you look at the link below, you’ll see him quoted in 2007 as saying he wanted to disown his adopted daughter because she was a lesbian: “I have my own problem — my adopted daughter has a wife,” he said. “Now I will ask the court to disown her from my family.” http://www.reuters.com/article/2007/10/31/us-cambodia-lesbian-idUSBKK11415620071031

  • Mooz

    @the other Greg: I’m sure they were not worried about your procreation, they were brought up into thinking that gays are evil and should be punished. Where did that come from? It starts from a very early age when boys and girls are conditioned into a certain type of behavior to assure that they will become typical heterosexuals.

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