13th Annual Gay Pride Week Celebrations Begin

Celebrations for Cambodia’s 13th annual Gay Pride Week began on Friday with songs, dances and speeches promoting the LGBT community in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district.

Performances ranged from traditional dance to contemporary storytelling. Among the speakers at the event were representatives of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, including rights group Rainbow Community Kampuchea and the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

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Gold-Silver Flower dance performed by homosexual performers at the 13th annual Gay Pride Week at Sek Sok district in Phnom Penh. (Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily)

OHCHR country representative Wan-Hea Lee said that Cambodia still had some work to do in helping to protect the LGBT community. LGBT “persons in Cambodia might not be actively persecuted as they are elsewhere, but they are also not embraced,” she said. “They should be protected by anti-discrimination legislation.”

Nearly 60 organizations, communities and businesses called on the government in a letter on Wednesday to legalize same-sex marriage and introduce laws protecting the LGBT community.

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