LGBT rights in Vietnam
|LGBT rights in Vietnam|
|Same-sex sexual activity legal?||No laws against homosexuality in recorded Vietnamese history|
|No recognition of same-sex couples|
|Same-sex marriage not recognized by constitution|
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) persons in Vietnam may face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Both male and female same-sex sexual activity is legal and has believed to never have been criminalized in Vietnamese history. However, same-sex couples and households headed by same-sex couples are ineligible for the legal protections available to opposite-sex couples. Although homosexuality is generally considered a taboo because of the Vietnamese tradition, awareness surrounding LGBT rights have risen during the 21st century. The minister of justice Ha Hung Cuong announced in 2012 that the government has began a consultation on whether to legalize same-sex marriage in Vietnam, saying that "in order to protect individual freedoms, same-sex marriage should be allowed." The Ministry of Justice has submitted a bill that repeals the ban against same-sex marriage in the Marriage and Family Law in 2013. The National Assembly is due to debate the bill in October. If the bill is approved, Vietnam would become the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage. Although recent polls indicate that a majority of Vietnamese are against same-sex marriage, Vietnam's first gay pride parade peacefully took place in Hanoi on August 5, 2012.
Law regarding same-sex sexual activity
Same-sex sexual acts are not a crime if they involve noncommercial acts between consenting adults in private. In fact, many historians believe that homosexuality was never addressed in the nation's criminal code.
Marriage is defined as a union between two adults of the opposite sex.
However, in July 2012, the country's minister of justice announced that the government has started a consultation on whether to legalize same-sex marriage. If approved, Vietnam would become the first Asian and the first communist country to legalize same-sex marriage.
Summary conditions and public opinion
In 2000, crime journalist Bui Anh Tan's novel "A World Without Women" (Một Thế Giới Không Có Đàn Bà) was the first fictional Vietnamese book to deal extensively with gay people. In 2007, the story was turned into a television series.
In 2001, a survey found that 82 percent of Vietnamese believe homosexuality is never acceptable. This socially conservative morality is believed to result from the Confucian emphasis on family and tradition.
In 2002, the government-run media declared homosexuality to be a "social evil" comparable to prostitution, gambling, and illegal drug use and promised that legislation would be forthcoming to allow the government to combat homosexuality and arrest gay couples. Publications such as The Gioi Phu Nu and Tiep Thi Va Gia Dinh have spoken of homosexuality as a disease and "deviant behavior that is incompatible with the good morals and time-honored customs of Vietnam." Although there are some signs that more liberal opinions may exist.
The same year that the government-run press called homosexuality a "social evil", the Communist Youth Newspaper carried a story about homosexuality that stated "some people are born gay, just as some people are born left-handed".
In 2007, HCMC University of Pedagogy conducted a poll of 300 pupils at three junior high and high schools and discovered that 80 percent of pupils answered "no" when asked, "Is homosexuality bad?"
Controversial film director Le Hoang also took a more liberal tone when he stated that while homosexuality is a mental illness, "Qualities such as morality, talent, and dignity do not depend on sexuality."
In 2009, Pham Le Quynh Tram became the first transgender woman to be legally recognized by Vietnamese authorities as a woman. As such, she was allowed to redefine her sex from male to female and to legally change her name to Pham Le Quynh Tram from Pham Van Hiep. However, according to a report in the Huffington Post, her official recognition was apparently withdrawn in late January 2013(Huffington Post)..
In September 2010, Tuoi Tre Online, the internet edition of Tuoi Tre newspaper, published a letter from an 18-year old reader describing his hard time dealing with family after they found out he was gay. The letter received hundreds of supportive responses from other readers that led the website to conclude it with an interview with Dr. Huynh Van Son, Dean of Psychology, HCMC University of Pedagogy. For the first time, a major state media agreed that "homosexuality is normal". On 29 November, the first foreign gay wedding was held in Hanoi between a Japanese and an Irish national. The wedding raised much attention in the gay and lesbian community in Vietnam.
On 5 August 2012, Vietnam's first gay pride parade took place in Hanoi, with participants expressing support for equal marriage rights for LGBT individuals.
In 2013, Vietnamese filmer Dang Khoa, produced a sitcom entitled ' My Best Gay Friends'. The series is published on YouTube as Vietnamese broadcasters were reluctant to air the episodes. Khoa wanted to create the show to debunk the caricature stereotypes of homosexuality.
HIV and AIDS
In 2006, the government enacted legislation to protect citizens infected with HIV and persons living with AIDS from discrimination, and health care is provided free to all Vietnamese citizens.
- Human rights in Vietnam
- LGBT rights in Asia
- Same-sex marriage in Vietnam
- Societal attitudes toward homosexuality
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