Rights group: Cambodia Cellcard ad discriminatory against LGBT people

Re-printed from http://asiancorrespondent.com/120120/rights-group-cambodia-cellcard-ad-discriminatory-against-lgbt-people/

By  Mar 03, 2014 10:58AM UTC

Last month, Cambodia’s second largest telecom provider Mobitel – operator of the Cellcard network – released a TV commercial poking fun at transgender people and consequently upsetting many in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. The spot had its debut on the social network Facebook, where it received 323 likes, 144 shares and a mountain of  “LOL’s“ from Cambodian users, who but for one exception found it very amusing.

The commercial, titled “Blind Date“, opens with a young man calling his companion-to-be on a cell phone. He never met her before and with his imagination running wild, he fantasises about a woman one would more likely see in a blockbuster movie than walking down the street. Sadly, he cannot hear her very well – his telephone connection is breaking up. He waits for her at a Cafe where he makes acquaintance with another youth awaiting his sweetheart. The protagonist‘s phone rings again. His date is on the phone, but he still cannot hear her. Finally, the moment of anticipation is over. She arrives and to the visible discontent of the leading character she is not the girl he envisaged. Instead, she is a transgender person. Now his counterpart’s girlfriend enters and she very much fits the part. Before the curtain falls, the young man warns: “to avoid disappointing results like this, choose Cellcard !“ Funny? Not to everyone.


Nuon Sidara, project coordinator at Cambodian Centre for Human Rights (CCHR), sent a letter to Kith Meng, director of Mobitel (also known as CamGSM), requesting that his company re-edits the commercial to remove the transgender character. Mr. Meng holds a majority stake in Cambodia Television Network, where the ad is aired on a daily basis, and is the CEO of the conglomerate Royal Group – the parent company of CamGSM.

In his letter to the business tycoon, Mr. Sidara argued that referring to disappointing results in the context of relations with transgender people is right out discriminatory. “Even if this video is trying to prove that your company is better than other companies, talking about disappointing results at the end of the commercial discriminates against transgender people. Please re-consider the true meaning of this commercial in order to avoid discriminating against LGBT people and violating their human rights,“ the letter read. Sidara’s appeal is yet to be answered by Kith Meng.

The ad attracted equal condemnation from the UN Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Cambodia. In an email to the Asian Correspondent, OHCHR representative Wan-Hea Lee wrote the spot “is an illustration of the general sense that LGBT persons are legitimate targets of ridicule and is best avoided.“ His statement went on to say the OHCHR is concerned about the tone and message of the promo spot “seeing no reason why any group of persons should need to be targeted in that way in order to sell cell phone cards.”

Mobitel declined to comment. As did Phibious advertising agency, which produced the commercial, while CTN spokesman Sokna Hout said all questions should be directed at the telecom provider and not the television network. The Correspondent managed to contact a local filmmaker who was involved in the project. Speaking on conditions of anonymity, he said the transgender community should not take the ad too seriously.

“Should transgender people be offended? They have the right to be, at the same time they shouldn’t take it too seriously; it’s simply another work of fiction. Asian films and TV ads have been using the same joke over and over the past 10-20 years, nothing new I guess,“ he said.

But the joke is getting old, at least for Vong Bunteoun. The 33-year old transgender NGO worker and make-up artist is tired of TV shows and adverts ridiculing the LGBT community. “This commercial and the media generally keep devaluing LGBT persons, and transgender people especially,“ she said. According to Bunteoun, local media sends the wrong message and portrays members of her community as less worthy individuals or criminals. “All you see on TV is either jokes about transgender people or news about transgender criminals. There is never any example of people who can hold a job and lead a regular life,“ she told the Asian Correspondent.

Although the overall attitude towards LGBT persons in the Southeast Asian country is less overtly hostile than in other countries around the world, the OHCHR claims they continue to face stigma and discrimination and experience higher level of domestic and gender-based violence than non LGBT-persons. Srorn Srun, who has been an advocate for LGBT rights in Cambodia for years, said the discrimination takes on a myriad of forms, ranging from difficulties in finding employment, exclusion from one’s family or verbal abuse to violence and sexual assault. He asserts members of the transgender community are often targeted “because their LGBT status is more visible as usually they can be easily physically identified.“

Srorn is adamant discriminatory attitudes towards transgender people in the Kingdom are so deeply entrenched in the social fabric that most take them to be the norm. This state of affairs, he contends, largely stems from lack of education and misinformation. “This discriminatory commercial and similar TV shows prove the media is not educated about LGBT issues, sexual orientation and gender identity as well as human rights,“ he said.

Nuon Sidara of CCHR would like to see that change. However, he asserts eradicating prejudice will be a very slow process that will only yield results if all stakeholders, including relevant ministries, are properly trained. And education is only the very first step, he claims. With no LGBT-specific laws and policies in place, improving the situation on the ground, according to the human rights worker, will take years.

It appears that apart from the Cambodian authorities, companies, such as Mobitel, also have some catching up to do. In fact, respect for LGBT rights has been identified as one of the top ten emerging business and human rights issues by the London-based Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB), a think tank providing independent analysis on the subject matter.

In her commentary, the Institute’s research fellow on gender, Kathryn Dovey, notes that “businesses headquartered in all regions will increasingly be challenged to clarify their stance on LGBT rights for their employees, customers, suppliers and indeed in the societies in which they operate.“ Reflecting the global shift in mindset regarding the scope of corporate responsibilities, Dovey points out the issue “will increasingly land on the desks of business leaders across the globe.“ In the end of the day, she writes, “this is…a question of dignity and respect.“

Kith Meng declined to comment.


Cambodian Transgender Activist Sou Sotheavy Wins 2014 David Kato Vision & Voice Award


Renowned Ugandan activist Frank Mugisha will present Sou Sotheavy with the award on stage at the prestigious Teddy Awards ceremony in Berlin this Friday


11 February 2014 [Berlin] – The David Kato Vision & Voice Award is proud to announce that the 2014 award will go to Cambodian transgender activist Sou Sotheavy. Now 75 years old, she has spent the last two decades working to establish a national network of organizations to support lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people across the country.  Sou will receive the award on stage at the prestigious Teddy Awards ceremony this Friday at the Berlin International Film Festival.


“I am tremendously moved to be given this award that to me symbolizes the struggle for rights and freedom for LGBT people in Cambodia,” said Sou. “I think of the torture and suffering that I have endured throughout my life. Today, I am fortunate to live a life that I have always dreamed of, a life that allows me to help LGBT Cambodians escape the torture, contempt, and discrimination that exists in many families and in Cambodian society.”


Awarded annually, the David Kato Vision & Voice Award is presented to an individual who demonstrates outstanding courage and leadership in advocating for the rights of LGBT individuals, particularly in challenging circumstances and unsupportive policy environments. The award provides winners with a global media platform and a $10,000 grant to support their efforts.


“Grassroots activists around the world are leading the work to secure LGBT rights and defend our communities,” said Jack Beck, Program Manager of the award. “Yet so often these crucial efforts go unrecognized and unfunded. Through the David Kato Vision & Voice Award, we are able to provide activists with a platform to elevate the issues that are affecting their communities, as well as much needed funding to sustain and expand their work.”


Sou was born on 8 December 1940 in Takeo province, Cambodia. Before the radical communist regime of the Khmer Rouge took over in 1975, she studied performing arts in the capital of Phnom Penh and worked as a military nurse. Her first involvement with human rights advocacy began in 1985 when she conducted HIV/AIDS outreach for the Khmer Development Freedom Organisation (KDFO). In 1999, realizing the need for special attention to LGBT issues, Sou established the Cambodian Network for Men Women Development (CMWD), the first Cambodian NGO to support LGBT people, where she continues to serve as president today. Active throughout 15 provinces, CMWD has provided much needed capacity building to LGBT groups, providing invaluable support for local programs and advocacy.


Until today, CMWD and Sou’s efforts have received no international attention. By acknowledging the importance of her work on these issues, Sou hopes the David Kato Vision & Voice Award will inspire and encourage more people to join the movement against discrimination in Cambodia and around the world. With more funding and volunteer activists working with Sotheavy in the provinces, she will reach out to a broader audience and support more LGBT people and organizations in Cambodia’s remote rural areas, where the education level is low, discrimination is rampant, and LGBT people remain forced to hide their true identity.


“I have been working without funds for a very long time,” said Sou. “This award will allow me to help my organization, train my team, and ultimately strengthen the rights of LGBT people in Cambodia. On the day I receive the award, my wish is that LGBT people from around the world will help support our LGBT communities in Cambodia, who are now facing a resurgence of violence from authorities. I will fight until the end of my life. I will not stop until the rights for LGBT exist like for other people.”


The 2014 David Kato Vision & Voice Award is presented in memory of Eric Ohena Lembembe, who served as Executive Director of the LGBT human rights organization CAMFAIDS in Cameroon before he was brutally murdered in July of 2013.


“As we celebrate Sotheavy’s life and work, the global movement for LGBT rights continues to mourn Eric’s loss and the loss of so many other LGBT activists and community members over the past year,” said George Ayala, David Kato Vision & Voice Award Advisory Committee Member and Executive Director of the Global Forum on MSM & HIV (MSMGF). “We commemorate Eric’s legacy and the lives of everyone we lost last year; their memory and contributions will continue to ripple brightly through our communities for years to come.”


Frank Mugisha, Chair of the David Kato Vision & Voice Award and Executive Director of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), will present Sou with the award on stage at the Teddy Award ceremony this Friday in Berlin. The award presentation will be accompanied by a short film profiling Sou and an on-stage interview with Mugisha.


Media Contact

Jack Beck




Read more about Sou Sotheavy’s life and work.


The David Kato Vision & Voice Award (DKVVA) recognizes and supports the work of leaders who strive to uphold the human rights and dignity of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) people around the world. More information about the DKVVA can be found at http://www.visionandvoiceaward.com.  


The Teddy Award is an award given at the Berlin International Film Festival, celebrating films and individuals that communicate queer themes and content on a large scale and contribute to more tolerance, acceptance, solidarity and equality in society. Learn more at http://news.teddyaward.tv/en/.  


កម្ពុជា៖ បញ្ហា​រំលោភ​សិទ្ធិ​អ្នក​ស្រឡាញ់​ភេទ​ដូច​គ្នា (LGBT) នៅ​តែ​ជា​បញ្ហា​ធ្ងន់​ធ្ងរ

Published on Wed 22 Jan, 2014 at 10:10 10:10 by . | 20 views

ការរើសអើងទៅលើក្រុមស្រឡាញ់ភេទដូចគ្នា ស្លៀកពាក់ខុសភេទ និងការស្វែងរកសេវាកម្មរួមភេទ ជាមួយភេទ​ដូច​គ្នា ពីសំណាក់ក្រុមគ្រួសារ និងសង្គម នៅតែកើតមានខ្លាំងក្លានៅឡើយ នៅក្នុងប្រទេសកម្ពុជាសព្វថ្ងៃ។ នេះជាការ​ត្អូញ​ត្អែរ​ដ៏ក្រៀមក្រំ របស់ក្រុមអ្នកស្រឡាញភេទដូចគ្នា និងក្រុមសកម្មជន ដែលធ្វើការទាក់ទងនឹងផ្នែកនេះ នៅក្នុង​កិច្ច​ប្រជុំ​ថ្នាក់ជាតិមួយ។

កិច្ចប្រជុំថ្នាក់ជាតិ នៃក្រុមអ្នកស្រឡាញ់ភេទដូចគ្នាថ្ងៃទី២១ ខែមករា ឆ្នាំ២០១៤។ (រូបថត MONOROOM.info/ Senghong)

ស្រឡាញភេទដូចគ្នា – មូលហេតុ នៃបញ្ហាទាំងនេះត្រូវបានលើកឡើង ដោយក្រុមអ្នកស្រឡាញ់ភេទដូចគ្នា​ប្រហែល៨០នាក់ ដែលភាគ ច្រើនជាតំណាងមកពីខេត្តផ្សេងៗ ក្នុងវេទិកានៃកិច្ចពិភាក្សាថ្នាក់ជាតិ ស្តីពីសមាគម​មនុស្សស្រី ស្រឡាញ់មនុស្សស្រីដូចគ្នា មនុស្សប្រុសស្រឡាញ់មនុស្សប្រុសដូចគ្នា ស្រឡាញ់ភេទទាំងពីរ និង​ប្តូរភេទ(LGBT)។ កិច្ចពិភាក្សានេះ ត្រូវបានផ្ដួចផ្ដើមឡើងដោយអង្គការសហប្រជាជាតិ សហការជាមួយ យូអេស​អេអាយឌី និង យូអ៊ិនឌីភី នៅសណ្ឋាគារ អ៊ីមភារៀល ហ្គាដិនវីឡា រាជធានីភ្នំពេញ កាលពីថ្ងៃទី២១ ខែ មករា ឆ្នាំ២០១៤នេះ។

ក្នុងកិច្ចពិភាក្សានេះ លោក ស្រ៊ុន ស្រ៊ន ទីប្រឹក្សាគម្រោង អ្នកស្រឡាញ់ភេទដូចគ្នាបាននិយាយថា ការរើសអើង​ប្រឆាំងនឹងជន ដែលស្រឡាញ់ភេទដូចគ្នា មិនត្រឹមតែប៉ះពាល់ដល់សិទ្ធិជនទាំងនោះទេ ប៉ុន្តែក៏អាចបណ្តាល​ឲ្យប្រទេស បាត់បង់ធនធានមនុស្សមួយចំនួនដែរ ព្រោះពួកគេនឹងចាកចេញពី ប្រទេសកម្ពុជាទៅរស់នៅ​ប្រទេស​ផ្សេងៗទៀត។ ម៉្យាងវិញទៀត នាពេលបច្ចុប្បនេះ គ្មានអង្គការសង្គម ស៊ីវិលណាមួយ ឬស្ថានប័នរដ្ឋណាមួយ បាន​ធ្វើការងារលើវិស័យច្បាប់ សម្រាប់ជួយការពារដល់ពួកគេឡើយ ដែលជាហេតុធ្វើឲ្យពួកគេ នៅតែទទួលការបំពាន ដូចជាពីក្រុមអាជ្ញាធរជាដើម។

ការបោះជំហាន ក្នុងការធ្វើសេចក្តីព្រាងរបាយការណ៏ស្តី ពីជនស្រឡាញ់ភេទដូចគ្នានេះ នឹងផ្ញើរជូនទៅ ស្ថានប័ន​ពាក់ព័ន្ធទាំងអស់ ដើម្បីពិនិត្យនិងពិចារណាលើរឿងនេះឡើងវិញ។ យ៉ាងណាមិញ លោកស្រ៊ុន ស្រ៊ន ក៏មាន​សេចក្តី​សោមនស្ស​ចំពោះក្រសួងកិច្ចការនារី ដែលបានបញ្ចូលកម្មវិធីស្ត្រីស្រឡាញ់ស្រ្តី ទៅក្នុងកម្មវិធីរបស់ខ្លួន និងបាន​ចូលរួមក្នុង​កិច្ចពិភាក្សានៅថ្ងៃនេះដែរ។ ជោគជ័យនេះ នឹងជាលទ្ធផលល្អសម្រាប់ការបោះជំហាន ទៅកាន់ការ​ធ្វើ​ទំនាក់ទំនងជាមួយស្ថានប័នរដ្ឋផ្សេងៗទៀត ដើម្បីស្នើសុំឲ្យសហការលើវិស័យនេះផងដែរ។

នៅក្នុងព្រះរាជាណាចក្រកម្ពុជា សិទ្ធិស្មើភាពនៃពលរដ្ឋគ្រប់រូប ត្រូវបានការពារដោយមាត្រា៣១ នៃច្បាប់រដ្ឋធម្មនុញ្ញ​ដែលចែងថា៖ «ព្រះរាជាណាចក្រកម្ពុជា ទទួលស្គាល់ និង គោរពសិទ្ធិមនុស្សដូចមានចែងក្នុងធម្មនុញ្ញ​នៃអង្គការ​សហប្រជាជាតិ សេចក្តី ប្រកាសជាសកលស្តីពីសិទ្ធិមនុស្ស និងកតិកាសញ្ញា ព្រមទាំងអនុសញ្ញាទាំងឡាយ​ទាក់​ទង​នឹងសិទ្ធិ មនុស្ស សិទ្ធិនារី និងសិទ្ធិកុមារ»។

ដោយឡែក នៅក្នុងសេចក្ដីថ្លែងការណ៍មួយ របស់អង្គការសហប្រជាជាតិ ចុះថ្ងៃទី១០ ខែធ្នូ ឆ្នំា២០១២ លោកបា គីមូន (Ban Ki-Moon) អគ្គលេខាធិការរបស់អង្គការអន្តរជាតិនេះ ក៏បានថ្លែងសង្កត់ធ្ងន់ដែរ ពីការរើសអើង​ផ្នែក​លើ​ហេតុផល នៃទំនាក់ទំនងភេទនិង យ៉េនឌ័រនេះ។ លោកបានអះអាងថា ទោះមិនទទួលស្គាល់ជាលក្ខណៈបុគ្គល ឬ​សូម្បី​តែ​ជា​លក្ខណៈសង្គមក្តី ក៏មិនអាចយកមកធ្វើជាហេតុផលសម្រាប់ការឃាត់ខ្លួន ការឃុំខ្លួន ការដាក់ពន្ធនាគារ ការយាយី ឬការធ្វើទារុណកម្មទៅលើបុគ្គលណាមួយឡើយ៕

ដោយ ក. សេងហុង (ទំនាក់ទំនង៖ khmer@monoroom.info) – ភ្នំពេញ ថ្ងៃ២១ ខែមករា ឆ្នាំ ២០១៤

For more information from original link http://www.monoroom.info/news/post/2590


LGBT advocates seek equality

Members of LGBT advocacy group Rainbow Community Kampuchea (RoCK) at a Pride event in Phnom Penh last May. Phnom Penh hosted the first Cambodia National LGBT community dialogue yesterday. Scott Howes

The government must amend legislation to stamp out hate crimes and discrimination against Cambodia’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender citizens, rights activists said during a forum in the capital yesterday.

“We are ordinary people too,” said Nay Sitha, from advocacy group the Rainbow Community Kampuchea (RoCK). “Ordinary people that need access to jobs, education and healthcare; why should we be discriminated against for how we dress or who we love?”

During the second day of the first community dialogue dedicated to the advancement and discussion of Cambodia’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) population, activists, civil society groups and United Nations agencies made it clear that LGBT Cambodians aren’t alone in their fight against discrimination.

Reliable statistics and documentation of police discrimination or gender-based brutality are limited, especially because LGBT individuals – fearing further abuse and stigma – rarely report such incidents. But civil society groups such as the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) are working to fill the void.

“Part of our plan for this year is to allocate some of our budget to conducting more research on violence being committed against LGBT [Cambodians] by local authorities and stigmatisation being perpetrated in schools,” said Nuon Sidara, director of CCHR’s sexual orientation and gender-identity program.

According to Srorn Srun, an activist moderating discussions and presentations during the conference, discrimination remains commonplace.

“Last year, when the Ministry of [Women’s] Affairs was rolling out plans for the national action plan to stop gender-based violence for 2014-2017, they agreed to include lesbians, bisexual women and [self-identifying] transgender women,” Srun said, adding that while this was positive, more inclusive institutional protection was needed.

Yesterday Sivan Botum, a secretary of state at the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, declined to comment on the ministry’s involvement in advocating for such rights.

Some of those present at yesterday’s forum called for changes to the legal definition of marriage and the delivery of equal rights in education, health and employment that would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender.

But Chou Bun Eng, secretary of state at the Ministry of Interior, disagreed that discrimination against LGBT Cambodians was rampant.

“I do not agree that more LGBT Cambodians are still discriminated against when we allow them equal access to jobs and schools. Our constitution already protects them, they don’t need more,” she said.

But anecdotal testimony given by more than 50 LGBT community members during Monday’s session showed that discrimination remains widespread, said Marie-Dominique Parent, deputy representative for the Cambodia office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

“The Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaims that ‘all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights’. This means all human beings, not some, not most, but all – regardless of who we are and whom we love,” she said.

Contact author: Amelia Woodside





Rainbow Community Kampuchea (RoCK)

International Human Rights Day 2013-

“Celebrating International Human Rights for LGBTIQ People in Cambodia 2013”


Background and general activities of RoCK

RoCK is a Cambodian LGBT rights group. It was formed after the successful Cambodia Pride Week 2009 (10-17th May) when LGBT Pride volunteers wanted to continue working to improve the lives of LGBT people in Cambodia. A week-long Pride involving various events (workshops, film festival, art exhibition, media coverage, social events) was an empowering experience for Cambodian LGBT as they had opportunities to share their experiences and bring more visibility to their lives and their concerns. They felt a stronger sense of community and wished to continue to work together to bring more understanding and visibility of LGBT people to Cambodian society. Since then, RoCK has successfully organized and annual LGBT Pride Week and last year 2012, organized the first-ever ASEAN LGBT Pride Week in Cambodia. And the Pride Week this year we made more visible event which more than 50 monks were invited for Blessing Ceremony and First Tuk Tuk parade (22) in public.

As well as organizing the annual Pride Festival every May, RoCK works all year round to promote LGBT rights awareness and advocacy. It does this by aiming certain activities at general community and society, and certain activities at internal movement building among LGBT-

  • RoCKers carry out multiple awareness session for university students of Gender Studies in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang;
  • also with other organizations as requested- Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO), KHANA, British Embassy and others;
  • RoCK harnesses the power of the arts to increase visibility and understanding through commissioning short films and documentaries, art exhibitions, music and songs;
  • RoCK carries out research on LGBT experiences;
  • RoCK takes on cases of rights abuses of LGBT to ensure that services are made available and problems are solved;
  • RoCK engages in community-organising within the LGBT community promoting volunteerism and self-help as the most powerful and sustainable way to bring about change- “be the change you wish to see!”
  • RoCK organizes SOGI workshops for its growing membership around the country to further deepen the LGBT community’s understanding and articulation of their identity        


Focus and progamme of IHRD 2013

One of the biggest causes of the discrimination and marginalization experienced by the LGBT community is the accusation that homosexual love is unnatural, abnormal and not belonging to Cambodian culture rather coming to influence young people from exposure to foreign cultures, music and fashions. The deep discrimination against LGBT leads to family rejection of LGBT sons and daughters and fear of this rejection is the biggest factor preventing LGBT people from their freedom of expression and to be who they are. Coming out of the closet comes with huge risks if it leads to one being abandoned or rejected by one’s family, the primary social fabric of life in Cambodia. Addressing this discrimination and strengthening support mechanisms for LGBT people continues to be the core work of RoCK and is the focus of IHRD 2013.

IHRD will focus on the important issue of family acceptance during IHRD this year. There will be a 2-day programme featuring:

  1. Our second ever national gathering of LGBT couples and their family members who accept them. We hope this will be a step on the way to founding a PFLAG group in Cambodia- Parents and Friends of Lesbian And Gay. During ASEAN Pride Week we met with the Vietnam PFLAG group and saw it is possible!     
  2. Commune leaders as well as police will be invited for sharing about how their experience with homosexual couples in their own community.
  3. RoCK will launch its Pride DVD from the previous May on IHRD
  4. RoCK will also screen some documentary which produced last years
  5. RoCK will exhibit its photo-book art piece “Cambodian LGBT Lives” featuring LGBT people with family who accept them.


RoCK will invite 100 RoCKers from the provinces for the 2-day programme and RoCKers from Phnom Penh as well as target groups of CPN Plush, a support organization for HIV+ transgender and MSM with whom RoCK is collaborating and other supporters.


Women’s Network for Unity (WNU), # 3-4 Street 339, Tuol Kork, Sangkat Boueng Kak 1, Khan Tuol Kork.

Tel: Mr Srun Srorn 092 300 006


Monday-Tuesday 9-10th December 2013


Agenda of Int. HR planning (9th -10th  December 2013)

on 9th December:

  1. Morning: workshop sharing about activities of other provinces (Takoe, K.chnang, Siemreap, Preyveng, Svayreang, Pursat, Preah vinhea)
  2. Afternoon:  workshop sharing about experience of commune chief and police to support us (Takoe, Kandal, Preah vihea, Prey veng)

on 10th December: 

  1. Morning: Sharing about Work of RoCK for the last few year and also RoCK status for 2014
  2. Afternoon: Lounching the DVD Pride 2013 and Other couples of Short documentary which relate to RoCK’s work
  3. Evening: Show and Dancing

Provinces activities:

  1. Cleaning at Siem Reap town 7-8th Oct
  2. Radio talk show at SR/ BTB

Contact person Tana 010 305 311 or Srorn 092 300 006

LGBT Voices!

Let’s Cambodian people discuss about it.
They will give negative and positive reactions!

But let’s speak out today, they will at least discuss!

hope our inspiring heart will break their negative thought!

Hundreds Turn Out to Support Same-Sex Marriage in Vietnam

Hundreds of people gathered in the center of Hanoi Sunday morning to watch a staged wedding ceremony between two same-sex couples ahead of a planned parliamentary debate on the topic next month.

Under the heat of an autumn morning in Hanoi, two same-sex couples dressed as brides and grooms took part in wedding ceremonies in front of around 300 people waving rainbow flags and holding colored balloons.

The couples exchanged rings and threw bouquets, much to the crowd’s delight. One of the brides, Linh, gave a short speech.

She said she was very happy to be able to take part in a wedding with the woman she loves.

The event was part of the “Toi Dong Y” festival, which translates as “I do,” or “I agree”, organized by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) groups across the country. In two weeks over 52,000 people have “liked” a Facebook page set up for the event.

One participant, 18-year-old Truong Duc Anh, said same-sex marriage is an important topic for Vietnam.

He said he believes love does not have a wrong or a right side and the most important thing is that society treats people equally when it comes to love.

The festival is being held ahead of a planned debate on revisions to the Marriage and Family Law at the National Assembly on November 5.

The draft does not include the legalization of same-sex marriage, but removes the article banning them in the current law and includes provisions for same-sex couples who live together.

One of the organizers – Le Quang Binh, director of the Institute for Studies of Society, Economy and Environment (iSEE) – said he believes same-sex marriage will be legalized eventually.

“I believe in people and I think that when everybody speaks out, everyone has to listen whoever you are. So that’s why we do it this way. We mobilize public opinion, LGBT, students, young people so when people speak their opinion, politicians will have to listen,” Binh said. “And I believe that politicians are also human beings. They need time to understand.”

Attitudes towards the LGBT community have changed greatly over the last few years in Vietnam, where belief in traditional patriarchal family values remains the norm. Vietnam’s LGBT community has grown more confident in its activism, even conducting training workshops for local journalists to improve their representation of gay people in local media.

Last year, hundreds of people cycled through the center of Hanoi in August for the country’s first Gay Pride parade. An Internet sitcom (situation comedy) called “My Gay Best Friends” went viral, attracting over 1.5 million viewers, and a publisher released the country’s first biography of a transgender person.

“I think a lot of change has taken place already…Before people thought it was sensitive so they didn’t want to talk about this. But now people are willing to talk about this. Many people support and many people oppose but at least the social debate takes place. We believe that’s necessary for social change,” stated Binh.

Binh said he thinks legalizing same-sex marriage would give the country a big boost in terms of Vietnam’s commitment to international human rights standards. The country has received growing criticism in recent years for restrictions on freedom of speech and the increasing numbers of political bloggers receiving jail terms.

Credited to http://www.voacambodia.com/content/hundreds-turn-out-to-support-same-sex-marriage-in-vietnam/1778455.html