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THAILAND - Jun 7, 2004

Mr. Sompop Kongsupab, Vice President of Rainbow Sky Association of Thailand, Mr. Kamolset Kanggarnrua, Secretary General of Rainbow Sky, and Ms. Manthana Adisayathepkul, owner of Lesla.com, held a press conference following media reports that the Ministry of Culture has begun a backroom campaign against homosexuals in the media and plans to ban homosexuals from government employment. The following statements were made:

"Being homosexuality is not a disgrace to Thai culture. Self determination and expression are rights stated in the Thai constitution, which all Thai deserve equally. In addition, the constitution is a fundamental part of the Thai culture.

"Currently, the Mental Health Department of the Ministry of Public Health, in accordance with the World Health Organization, has acknowledged that homosexuality is not a mental disorder.

"Gatherings of GLBT (gay-lesbian-bisexual-transgenders) are meant to conduct public interest activities for the community and for Thai society. This also contributes to mutual understanding about GLBT in society.

"What the media are presenting about GLBT, including TV entertainment or news about violence towards GLBT, does not reflect the majority of our way of life. What is presented on TV and in newspapers leads to misunderstanding and misperception about our community.

"The Thai GLBT network agrees with the Ministry of Culture that a social order campaign with the media would be beneficial, but it should be conducted with respect to equality in society, which means not only focusing on GLBT, but on all issues. Our organizations also desire to participate in the campaign regarding the proper presentation of images of GLBT people in the media."

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