Cambodian PM disowns lesbian daughter but urges others not to discriminate
Speaking at a graduation ceremony in Phnom Penh, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said Oct. 30 that he has disowned his adopted daughter because she is a lesbian.
“My daughter has married a woman,” he said. “Now I just asked the court to cut her out of the family. We are concerned that she might one day cause us trouble … and try to stake her claim for a share of our assets.
“I was disappointed,” Hun Sen said. “I can educate an entire nation, but I cannot educate this adopted daughter. We sent her to study in the U.S., but she did a bad job. She returned home and took a wife.
“Sometimes, she brought her girl and slept together in my house. We are concerned that one day her girl will bring grenades or poisonous drugs to our house and we will all die, who knows?
“This is the first time that I declared publicly the internal affairs of my family, because lesbian cases happen in Cambodia with large range.”
Paradoxically, Hun Sen also said: “I’d like to take this opportunity to appeal to parents and society not to discriminate against them [gays] and not to call them transvestites. Most of them are good people and are not doing alcohol, drugs or racing vehicles.”
Church of Sweden announces intention to offer marriage to same-sex couples
As Sweden prepares to legalize full marriage for same-sex couples, the dominant Church of Sweden has decided it also will legally marry same-sex couples.
Faced with the choice, once the law passes, of offering legal marriages to both gays and straights or to no one at all, the Lutheran church’s governing body voted 161-74 on Oct. 25 to stay in the marriage business.
Sweden has had a registered-partnership law that grants same-sex couples all the rights of marriage since 1994.
British judge who resigned to avoid approving adoptions by gays loses appeal
A family court judge in Sheffield, England, who resigned to avoid having to approve adoptions by gay couples, lost an appeal to get his job back Oct. 31.
Andrew McClintock, 63, had claimed discrimination based on his Christian beliefs.
But the Employment Appeal Tribunal said an earlier ruling that McClintock could not be excused from hearing same-sex cases was correct. McClintock now plans to take the case to the Court of Appeal.
“For 18 years my Christian beliefs have been well known to both my fellow magistrates and to court officials and it was no surprise to them that when the Civil Partnerships Act enabled same-sex couples to adopt and become foster carers, I was simply seeking some form of recusal from cases where I would be forced to act contrary to my conscience,” he said in an Oct. 31 statement.
Austria, Ireland propose laws giving same-sex couples some marriage rights
Austrian Justice Minister Maria Berger has unveiled her proposal for a registered partnership law for same-sex couples, the Wiener Zeitung newspaper reported Oct. 26.
Under the plan, couples would provide a local registry office with proof of their relationship and receive many of the rights and obligations of marriage.
The Irish government also has announced plans to introduce civil partnership legislation, for same-sex, opposite-sex and nonsexual couples (such as a cohabiting brother and sister).
Details of the Irish proposal are expected to be announced by March of next year.
“It represents a recognition by government of the many forms of relationships in modern society, and an important step very particularly for homosexual couples, whose relationships have not previously been given legal recognition,” said Justice Minister Brian Lenihan.
Government of Catalonia in Spain joins International Lesbian and Gay Association
The government of the Spanish region of Catalonia, where Barcelona is located, has joined the International Lesbian and Gay Association.
The secretary general of the Catalonian federation Gay-Lesbian Coordinator (CGL), Antonio Guirado, said the move was “unprecedented.”
“Since its foundation 21 years ago, the Gay-Lesbian coordinator always has been an active member of ILGA and we are very proud to see that our government has taken a step that has only been taken previously by cities, such as Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Venice,” Guirado said. “We invite other institutions and entities that want to contribute to extending human rights to follow this example.”
CGL Honorary President Jordi Petit added: “After our winning legal equality [in Spain] with the rights to marriage and adoption for couples of the same sex, Catalonia’s joining ILGA is a challenge to many countries where homosexuals and transsexuals still are subject to persecution and the death penalty.
“This is a historic, unprecedented institutional act of profound solidarity against intolerance that we enthusiastically applaud for its example to the world. It is especially necessary that nongovernmental organizations in developing nations open themselves to collaborating with the homosexual and transsexual movement, as our government has just done.”
ILGA is a 30-year-old federation of more than 600 GLBT organizations and associated members, such as city governments, from 90 countries.
It has played a key role over the years in developments such as Amnesty International’s decision to adopt persecuted homosexuals as prisoners of conscience and the World Health Organization’s decision to remove homosexuality from its list of illnesses.
Editorial assistance by Bill Kelley
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition November 9, 2007