Gay and lesbian Web sites worldwide have snapped up reports of King Norodom Sihanouk’s declaration of support for same sex marriages.
Numerous Web sites—including Queerday, Dragoncastle’s Gay Asia, Queery, rainbownetwork.com and 365gay.com— published articles this week, citing the King’s stance that homosexual couples should be allowed to get married.
“Lesbians and gays fighting for equality around the world have found an unlikely supporter— the King of Cambodia,” wrote Ben Townley in an article that appeared on gay.com.
The Web site CGN: A Queer Nation Once Again, published a similar article, with the posting: “At last, some sense on this issue. Let’s hope others follow suit.”
In a message posted on his Web site on Friday, King Sihanouk said he had watched recent television coverage of same sex weddings in the Californian city of San Francisco and was in favor of Cambodia following the example.
His statement was applauded in gay and lesbian Internet forums.
After listing a number of politicians who supported same sex marriages on the Independent Gay Form Web site, Stephen Miller wrote: “Oh, and support was also expressed by Cambodia’s King Norodom Sihanouk. Awesome.”
King Sihanouk’s views were not received well by others, however.
A response to what appeared to be hate mail from a person named Tom Adams, appeared on King Sihanouk’s Web site on Tuesday.
“I thank you for insulting me,” the King replied to his critic, adding that as a liberal democracy, Cambodians “including the King have the right to express freely their view.”
He added: “God has not created only ‘good persons’ but ‘the wicked’ too…. Gays and lesbians would not exist if God did not create them. As a Buddhist, I must have compassion for human beings who are not like me but who torture nobody, kill nobody.”
As for his own sexuality, the King said, “I am not gay, but I respect the right of gays and lesbians. It’s not their fault if God makes them born like that.”