Cambodian law prohibits same-sex marriage, but that did not stop Ros Ravuth from marrying her long-time partner, Sinuon.
Ravuth, 52, has lived with Sinuon*, 38, in Kandal province’s Khsach Kandal district for 20 years, ever since the couple obtained the permission – if not the blessing – of local authorities to marry.
Ravuth said that when she made the request, the commune and village chiefs pressed her about whether she really wanted to get married and if she and her wife would live with and care for each other forever.
“I replied to them that I was sure, that I love my partner. We will live with each other forever, even though we are the same sex.”
A month later, authorities granted her a marriage permission letter, and the couple soon celebrated their wedding, despite objections from some relatives.
“We were so happy, and a lot of guests came to my wedding, because they had never seen a same-sex marriage,” said Ravuth, who now works in a garment factory to support her wife and their three adopted children.
A year after they married, Ravuth and her wife received their marriage certificate.
It gives me pride to see my fellow Khmer people challenge discriminatory laws and demand that their relationships are recognized. Happy Pride Season, Cambodia.
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