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Vietnam Hub



04/19/2007


Same-Sex Ceremonies Legalized In Vietnam But Marriages Will Not Be Recognized

Vietnam made important strides toward same-sex marriage equality this week when it legalized same-sex wedding ceremonies. Although the unions formed out of these ceremonies will not be recognized by the country as marriages, the news is welcome and exciting for the southeast Asian country. 

VietnamFree District reports:

The decision comes after two fines were imposed last year to two same-sex couples who held weddings ceremonies in Vietnam.

The couples were charged with holding a ceremony “contrary to the habits and customs of Vietnam” and violating the Law on Marriage & Family of Vietnam, which outlaws same-sex marriage, said reports.

After the law was challenged, however, the government backed down, and has decided to allow same-sex weddings.

As Towleroad previously reported, the Vietnamese government has been scheduled to look at a bill which would legalize same-sex marriages as well, but the vote, which would likely have its supporters, has been delayed. 

For now, congratulations to Vietnam and the same-sex couples who are able to have the ceremony of their dreams! 


One of World's Rarest Mammals Spotted for First Time in 15 Years: PHOTO

Saola

The saola, a rare cousin of cattle that looks a bit like an antelope, has been spotted using a camera trap (above) set by the World Wildlife Foundation and the Vietnamese government’s Forest Protection Department in the Central Annamite mountains of Vietnam, WWF reports:

2_saola“When our team first looked at the photos we couldn’t believe our eyes. Saola are the holy grail for South-east Asian conservationists so there was a lot of excitement,” said Dr. Van Ngoc Thinh, WWF-Vietnam’s Country Director. “This is a breath-taking discovery and renews hope for the recovery of the species.” ...

“In Vietnam, the last sighting of a saola in the wild was in 1998,” said Dang Dinh Nguyen, Deputy Head of Quang Nam Forest Protection Department and Director of Quang Nam’s Saola Nature Reserve. “This is an historic moment in Vietnam’s efforts to protect our extraordinary biodiversity, and provides powerful evidence of the effectiveness of conservation efforts in critical saola habitat.”

The saola was discovered in 1992. Little is known about its ecology and it is not known how many survive because it is so elusive, living in a remote wooded habitat on the Vietnam-Laos border.


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

Hanoi

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.

2_hanoiWatch videos, AFTER THE JUMP...

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)

Viet2

Continue reading "Hundreds Witness Staged Gay Wedding Ceremony in Vietnam to Support LGBT Rights: VIDEO" »


The Gay Rights Push (And Push Back) In Southeast Asia: VIDEO

Screen Shot 2013-07-09 at 5.54.44 PM

For one day in June, the tiny city-state of Singapore brims with bright pink clothing, banners, and festivities to mark the annual "Pink Dot" gathering, a celebration in support of inclusiveness, diversity and the freedom to love. This year's celebration, the fifth such event, was the biggest so far; at 21,000 people it was the largest civil-society gathering in Singapore history.     

But for all Pink Dot's success, the Singapore government's official ambivalence regarding gay rights reflects a common hesitation among Southeast Asian countries when faced with this new notion of human sexuality. Like our own 50 state variety of attitudes towards LGBT rights, some Southeast Asian countries are beginning to take their first hesitant steps towards equality, while others seem to be reinforcing their disapproval of homosexuality.

Continue, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "The Gay Rights Push (And Push Back) In Southeast Asia: VIDEO" »


News: Netflix, Bradley Manning, Vietnam, Sarah Palin

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Netflix's increasingly valuable stock has made the company's CEO, Reed Hastings, a very, very rich man.

Bradley-manning6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d LGBT activist Michael Petrelis is one of those who is calling for a protest in San Francisco tomorrow over the SF Pride/Bradley Manning controversy: "'Our message to SF Pride is that they should make Manning a grand marshal of this year's Pride march and celebration because of his brave act of whistleblowing against the military industrial complex,' said Petrelis. 'We are fed up with marriage and military concerns sucking the oxygen out of what used to be a queer movement and Pride march and celebration about social justice for queers.'"

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Kickstarter pays off for Zack Braff.

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Mark Wahlberg's Pain & Gain muscles a box office win.

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d First gay wedding fair held in France.

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Compelling story about a popular gay ex-mayor of a small Texas town who gave up his rising career for love: "He followed a path blazed by hundreds of gay Americans each year, who have found that U.S. immigration law offers no easy way for them to live legally with foreign-born partners."

Bestf6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Vietnamese series My Best Gay Friends is a big hit. Says creator: "I thought it would only interest Vietnam's gay community -- but we're hearing that parents, grandparents, whole families watch and love the shows and long for new episodes."

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d The Associated Press asks if lesbians are more accepted than gay men.

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Unsurprisngly, Sarah Palin finds the time to complain about last night's White House Correspondents' Dinner.

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d Ashton Kutcher involved in altercation at the Stagecoach music festival.

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d RIP: Alan Wood, the man who owned the U.S. flag in Joe Rosenthal's photo of the famous flag-rising over Iwo Jima.

6a00d8341c730253ef014e86b06427970d  Jake Gyllenhaal and Jude Law hang out together in the East Village.

NEWS: Heightening The Contradictions, A Terrible Day In Wisconsin, The Diving Unicorn

Lindsey-Graham_shouting copy

Towleroad-roadicon Sen. Lindsey Graham urges government contractors to lay people off just before the election:

I’m urging every defense industry that could be affected by sequestration to put your employees on notice before November ... The more it becomes real to us as to what comes the nation’s way, the more likely we are to solve the problem.

Towleroad-roadicon Stop The Deportations responds to the big DHS announcement:

After a two-year campaign urging the Obama administration to stop the deportations of spouses of gay and lesbian Americans, we welcome the announcement by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that it will formally recognize same-sex marriages as part of its year-old ‘prosecutorial discretion’ deportation policy and other related enforcement matters.

... This move is significant beyond the immigration context, as it constitutes the first time any agency of the federal government has created a policy explicitly recognizing same-sex marriages.

Towleroad-roadicon At least six dead in shooting at Sikh temple:

The shootings occurred about 10:30 a.m. at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in the town of Oak Creek, just south of Milwaukee, officials said ...

Towleroad-roadicon The New York Post didn't think much of Friday's Chick-fil-A kiss-in, but did at least offer this hilarious description of a homophobe:

... Nearby, an older gent who refused to give his name was freaking out.

Mitchadorable“That’s disgusting! That’s not why I came here,” he said.

“Why don’t they go to Sbarro and do that? Why don’t they go to Subway?”

Towleroad-roadicon There is such a thing as a "Chick-on-chick" sandwich, and you can get it in Houston.

Towleroad-roadicon A BuzzFeed contributor builds a treacly but compelling case for Matthew Mitcham's adorableness.

Towleroad-roadicon Vietnam's first Pride Parade:

... it was a scene that was unimaginable a few years ago, when Vietnam still labeled homosexuality a "social evil" alongside drug addiction and prostitution. The country's gay community was once so underground that few groups or meeting places existed, and it was taboo to even talk about the issue.

Towleroad-roadicon Sheldon Adelson's Las Vegas Sands Corporation is under investigation for money laundering.

Towleroad-roadicon Mass death at the beginning of the last millenium linked to a super volcano:

Scientific evidence – including radiocarbon dating of the bones and geological data from across the globe – shows for the first time that mass fatalities in the 13th century were caused by one of the largest volcanic eruptions of the past 10,000 years.

Such was the size of the eruption that its sulphurous gases would have released a stratospheric aerosol veil or dry fog that blocked out sunlight, altered atmospheric circulation patterns and cooled the Earth’s surface ...

Towleroad-roadicon Dick Cavett: Gore Vidal hates being dead ...

... unless of course we die and go somewhere where you can write, drink, have sex, appear on TV and, above all else, talk.

... he was -- I feel safe in saying -- the best talker since Oscar Wilde ... You felt you had just had a lovely bath in the elegant and witty use of our sadly declining English language. Gore's talk, if transcribed, could be printed without editing. If there seemed to be some preening in his prepared remarks on television -- and he knew a good line was worth repeating -- it was outweighed by the quality of the verbal prose.


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