Gay Marriage | News | Vietnam

Hundreds Witness Staged Gay Wedding Ceremony in Vietnam to Support LGBT Rights: VIDEO


Approximately 300 people came out to the center of Hanoi to show support for same-sex marriage on Sunday, Voice of America reports. The supporters also witnessed a “staged” wedding ceremony for two couples (one gay, one lesbian) who, dressed as grooms and brides respectively, exchanged rings and threw bouquets to the crowd. The event was part of the “Toi Dong Y” festival, (translated, it means “I do,” or “I agree”) put on by LGBT groups from across the country.

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The rally comes as the Vietnamese Parliament is set to begin debate next month on legalizing same-sex marriage. Last year the Vietnamese government announced it would consider granting same-sex couples the right to marry as part of its overhaul of the country’s marriage laws. Though the current draft of the proposed legislation does not explicitly legalize same-sex marriage, it does remove a provision that makes it specifically illegal and also provides protections for same-sex couples living together.

Many activists are hopeful that Vietnam will soon legalize gay marriage. Said Le Quang Binh, director of the Institute for Studies of Society, Economy and Environment (iSEE),

"I believe in people and I think that when everybody speaks out, everyone has to listen whoever you are. So that’s why we do it this way. We mobilize public opinion, LGBT, students, young people so when people speak their opinion, politicians will have to listen," Binh said. "And I believe that politicians are also human beings. They need time to understand."

Vietnam stands out from many other countries in the region for its attitudes on homosexuality. While in many neighboring countries, “simply being gay can result in jail sentences or whippings with a rattan cane,” Vietnam has been more accepting. As for the reasoning behind this, some point to the country’s political landscape and the role of the media: “Vietnam's state-run media, unable to write about politically sensitive topics or openly criticize the one-party government, have embraced the chance to explore gay issues.”

You can check out Toi Dong Y’s Facebook page HERE.

(Below photo via Facebook)


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  1. Awww, it's cute.

    Posted by: litper | Oct 28, 2013 8:24:35 AM

  2. Nice article, but the Vietnamese gay rights advocate doesn't know his neighborhood very well. In no neighboring country are you jailed or whipped for being gay. You'd have to go to Singapore or Malaysia if you wanted to be technically illegal for being gay, and even there nobody is ever punished for being gay. I think you'd have to go all the way to Bangladesh to find a country that actually punishes gays.

    Posted by: Brian1 | Oct 28, 2013 8:55:14 AM

  3. Brian1, though you are right that the immediate countries next to Viet Nam do not jail individuals for being gay (China, Laos, Cambodia), you are mistaken in two suggestions: that Malaysia and Singapore are the only countries (even though both are in the SE Asia region) and the fact that nobody is every punished.

    First, Myanmar (Burma) and Brunei both carry jail time for homosexual activity and are also in the region. Myanmar is actual closer to Vietnam than Malaysia or Singapore.

    Second, these countries have had cases in which they use their laws against gay individuals.

    That being said, I agree with the notion that Bangladesh and Westwards is where it truly starts to worsen. South and West Asia are downright draconian at times compared to their East and Southeast Asian counterparts, even in countries that are very conservative like Korea.

    Posted by: Jake | Oct 28, 2013 9:51:50 AM

  4. Jake,

    I'd say you're half right, I forgot to include Brunei and Myanmar in the list where homosexuality is technically illegal, As in Malaysia and Singapore this is just a relic from being a British colony, and the old colonial law is never enforced. And it's clear that the law will be repealed in Myanmar in the near future. As for Aceh, that is the only instance of an anti gay law being passed in Asia (as opposed to being imposed by Europeans). But it's never been tested, and most people assume that Indonesia would intervene to prevent actual punishment from being meted out.

    So my point still stands, that nowhere in East Asia are gays punished.

    Posted by: Brian1 | Oct 28, 2013 10:15:45 AM

  5. Yes, the Vietnamese gay rights advocate are so dumb as to not know who their neighbors are..
    Malaysia and Singapore are in South East Asia. South East Asia also includes Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Brunei, Philippine, East Timor, Myanmar and Christmas Island.

    Malaysia, Singapore are not considered East Asia.

    Posted by: Andy Towlette | Oct 28, 2013 12:45:22 PM

  6. @andy towlette,

    You clearly didn't understand my comment. I wasn't saying he doesn't know who his neighbors are. I'm saying he doesn't know the gay rights situation in his neighborhood. He said in neighboring countries you can get jailed or beaten for being gay, and that's not correct.

    I live in Asia, so I don't need the geography lesson. We often use East Asia to mean the part of Asia that doesn't include the middle east or south asia, formerly known as the Indian Subcontinent. If we wanted to say specifically East Asia excluding ASEAN, we would call that area North Asia. I grant you that East Asia can also be used to mean just north Asia, ie not Southeast Asia, but Vietnam is usually included in both North Asia and Southeast Asia. So using my looser East Asia made the most sense in this context.

    And regardless of the geography, you missed my point entirely.

    Posted by: Brian1 | Oct 28, 2013 1:04:20 PM

  7. He considers Singapore and Malaysia his neighbors, 2 countries TOO many with codified animosity where gays can be jailed and whipped. The point of the article is the emphasis for gays to be protected and treated equally. Who’s the one that brought up geography in the first place.

    Posted by: Andy Towlette | Oct 28, 2013 3:26:14 PM

  8. @andy towlette

    To answer your last question, Jake was the first to bring up geography in his comment. Mine was geography free until I replied to him, then you jumped in with your christmas island list.

    You still don't understand that I get that he considers all of southeast asia his neighbor. But both you and he are wrong if you think gays are being jailed and whipped in malaysia and singapore. It just doesn't happen. Read the story again. He goes to great lengths to say that Vietnam is much more advanced in gay rights than many other Asian countries, because of its state run media etc. But that's totally wrong, and that's the only point I' trying to make.

    Posted by: Brian1 | Oct 28, 2013 3:59:20 PM

  9. Who's this Andy guy???

    Posted by: Chevytexas | Oct 28, 2013 5:13:50 PM

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