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Cambodian PM Hun Sen Urges End to Anti-Gay Discrimination

Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen, who in October 2007 publicly cut ties with his lesbian daughter, has spoken out in support of gays and lesbiand and urged his countrymen to curtail anti-gay discrimination, the AP reports:

HunsenGay rights is not a major issue in Cambodia, and Hun Sen seemed to have been inspired by discussions of the subject on International Human Rights Day on Monday, including on local television. Cambodian society, as in neighboring Thailand, is generally tolerant of homosexuality.

He said he had heard requests from gay Cambodians that they be able to enjoy the same rights and freedoms as others.

"There are gays and lesbians in every country, so there should be no discrimination against them just because of their destiny," he said...

...he appealed to society to show respect for gay people, saying "Most of them are good people and are not doing alcohol, drugs or racing vehicles."

The Cambodian leader made international headlines in 2007 when he publicly cut ties with his lesbian daughter. Said Hun Sen to more than 3,000 assembled at a school graduation ceremony in Phnom Penn: "My adopted daughter now has a wife. I'm quite disappointed. We are concerned that she might one day cause us trouble ... and try to stake her claim for a share of our assets."

At that time, Hun Sen also reportedly urged Cambodians not to discriminate against gays and lesbians. Comments about his daughter were reportedly omitted when the speech was aired on state media.

In 2004, Cambodia's King Sihanouk spoke out about gays and lesbians, saying "I am not gay, but I respect the rights of gays and lesbians. It's not their fault if God makes them born like that."


Towleroad Guide to the Tube: #798

DANIEL RADCLIFFE: A new PSA for The Trevor Project and Socialvibe.com.

CAMBODIA: The powerful story of a brave 70-year-old transgender sex worker who has started the country's first gay and trans HIV support group.

PAINT BOMBS: Student protests over tuitiion fees in London are getting very violent.

CELINE DION: the amazing one gives another impromptu singing performance on Larry King.

For recent Guides to the Tube, click HERE.


News: Cambodia, Chris Hughes, Immigration, Janet Jackson

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 roadSenator Chuck Schumer signals commitment to inclusion of LGBT provisions in comprehensive immigration reform: "I support [UAFA] and I am working on introducing a comprehensive package that would address this issue along with a host of immigration issues . . . At this time, I believe that the only way to pass meaningful and effective immigration reform is through a comprehensive bill, not through piecemeal legislation."


 roadJanet Jackson announces release date of new single, called "Nothing".

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 roadTom Brady grows it out.

 roadNice knowing you, Bluefin tuna: "Global talks on the conservation of endangered species have rejected calls to ban international trade in bluefin tuna, raising new fears for the future of dwindling stocks. Countries at the meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) in Qatar voted down a proposal from Monaco to grant the fish stronger protection. The plan drew little support, with developing countries joining Japan in opposing a measure they feared would hit fishing economies."


Mcginley  roadThe NYT 'T' magazine pays a visit to the studio of Ryan McGinley.

 roadChicago Mayor Daley appoints new chair to gay advisory council: "Elizabeth Kelly will serve a three-year term as chairperson of the Advisory Council on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues. Kelly is a professor of women's and gender studies at DePaul University. She was a founding member of DePaul's interdisciplinary program in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender studies."

 roadGay Facebook founder Chris Hughes starts Jumo.com, a social platform for global volunteerism: "Think of the site as philanthropy, volunteerism and social networking all rolled into one. It's a platform that will connect people and organizations around the world, and Hughes is arguably the most well-known tech entrepreneur to enter the still evolving global space." Site.

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Vman  roadVman modeling search winners announced (site possibly nsfw).

 roadSiem Reap, Cambodia's gay haven: "Homosexual acts are not outlawed in Cambodia, as they are in a few Southeast Asian countries, but outward displays of affection and untraditional lifestyles are rare. Yet in Siem Reap, a small town that gets about a million tourists a year, gay visitors and locals are carving out a little haven. In the last few years, a small flurry of gay-friendly bars, restaurants and hotels has opened up in the city’s center and beyond, with wink-wink names like the Golden Banana and Cockatoo."

 roadFacebook deletes Seattle gay youth group.

 roadAtlanta Eagle lawsuit grows: "Thirty-one Atlanta police officers have been added to a federal lawsuit that complains patrons of a gay nightclub were ordered to lie on the Atlanta Eagle Bar floor, on spilled beer and broken glass, while enduring insults about their homosexuality. The suit, originally filed in November, was expanded Wednesday to include six more bar employees and contractors, bringing the total to 28 people who say they were victimized during the highly publicized raid on Sept. 10."


More Signs of a Planet in Crisis?

Catfish_2

The population of giant catfish, once plentiful in the Mekong Delta in Southeast Asia, have dwindled by 95 to 99 percent in the last century, according to scientists.

National Geographic reports that "since 2000 five to ten fish have been caught by accident each year throughout the Mekong area." The one pictured here was caught by accident on November 13 near Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and released unharmed, according to fisheries biologist Zeb Hogan (pictured).

Said Hogan: "This is the only giant catfish that has been caught this year so far, making it the worst year on record for catch of giant fish species."

A recent climate report from the IPCC warned that the world could see extinction of one-third of all species as it warms up. That's a terrifying thought.

In semi-related news, that wayward Minke whale that was found swimming 1,000 miles up the Amazon didn't make it out alive.

Catfish2


Cambodian Prime Minister Publicly Cuts Ties with Lesbian Daughter

Speaking at a school graduation ceremony in Phnom Penn today, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen told those gathered that he was cutting off contact with his daughter because she is a lesbian.

HunsenSaid Hun Sen to the 3,000 assembled: "My adopted daughter now has a wife. I'm quite disappointed. We are concerned that she might one day cause us trouble ... and try to stake her claim for a share of our assets."

According to the AP: "The prime minister and his wife Bun Rany have three sons and two other daughters. He said they adopted their third daughter in the mid 80's when she was 18 days old. She has carried his family name 'Hun' just like his biological children. Hun Sen did not reveal her given name."

Hun Sen reportedly then "said he was not discriminating against gays and appealed to society to show respect for them" according to the media outlet.

The Bangkok Post offers an alternative translation: "My daughter has married a woman ... Now I just asked the court to cut her out of the family. I was disappointed. I can educate an entire nation, but I cannot educate this adopted daughter."

CambodiaThey add, "Hun Sen spoke about his personal struggle, saying media and other educational forums had taught him it was okay to be gay, but when it happened in his own family, he 'did not know how to do.'"

Comments about his daughter were reportedly omitted when the speech was aired on state media.

The non-profit Cambodian gay rights group Women's Agenda for Change reportedly "applauded" Hun Sen's comment on discrimination but said nothing about the daughter.

Homosexuality is legal in Cambodia, but the nation has no laws regarding same-sex marriage.

In 2004, Cambodia's King Sihanouk spoke out about gays and lesbians, saying "I am not gay, but I respect the rights of gays and lesbians. It's not their fault if God makes them born like that."


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