Cambodia's leader Hun Sen severs ties with adopted gay daughter
October 31, 2007, 12:00 am TWN
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia -- Cambodia's prime minister said Tuesday that his adopted daugther is a lesbian and he was severing ties with her, but he urged the country not to discriminate against gays.
"My adopted daughter now has a wife. I'm quite disappointed," Hun Sen said.
He made the rare revelation about his closely guarded family life during a speech at a university graduation ceremony.
Hun Sen said he plans to file a civil court case to disown his adopted daughter, whom he did not name, so that she cannot claim any inheritance from his family.
"We are concerned that she might one day cause us trouble ... and try to stake her claim for a share of our assets," he said.
The prime minister and his wife Bun Rany have five children, three sons and two daughters. He said they adopted their third daughter when she was 18 days old. She has carried his family name "Hun" just like his biological children.
Hun Sen, meanwhile, told the graduating class at the National Institute of Education that it is wrong to discriminate against homosexuals.
"I'd like to take this opportunity to appeal to parents and society not to discriminate against them (gays)," Hun Sen said.
"Most of them are good people and are not doing alcohol, drugs or racing vehicles" like the members of youth gangs, he added.
Sam Vuthy, coordinator of Women's Agenda for Change, a nonprofit Cambodian group advocating gay rights, hailed Hun Sen's appeal, saying she hoped it would reduce discrimination against homosexuals in Cambodia.