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Cambodian prime minister disowns lesbian daughter

By dpa news     Oct 30, 2007 in Politics
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen gave a rare glimpse into his private life Tuesday when he admitted disowning his adopted daughter after discovering she was a lesbian.
Speaking before around 3,000 people at a graduation ceremony in Phnom Penh, 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."
"My daughter has married a woman ... Now I just asked the court to cut her out of the family," he said. His comments were edited from later versions of the speech aired on state media.
"I was disappointed. I can educate an entire nation, but I cannot educate this adopted daughter," he added.
The official website of Hun Sen's cabinet, Cambodia New Vision, names five children in the family of Hun Sen and his wife Bun Rany and says one daughter is adopted, but does not name her.
In February 2004, then-king Norodom Sihanouk gave his support to gay marriage on his website, saying a democratic Cambodia should accept "marriage between man and man ... or between woman and woman."
However the concept remains largely unacceptable in Cambodia's conservative Buddhist society, and homosexuals often feel pressured to enter into heterosexual marriages.
Bun Rany is the president of the Cambodian Red Cross and has particularly championed the fight against HIV and AIDS. dpa sl wjh