Same-sex marriage in Vietnam
Previous laws against all forms of cohabitation were repealed under a new marriage law approved by the parliament in 2000.
In May 2012, a gay couple in Ha Tien held a traditional, public wedding at their home but were stopped by local authorities. The event was reported widely on Vietnamese media and started a heated debate on the issue.
Two months later, the Vietnamese Justice minister, Ha Hung Cuong, announced that the government was considering legalising same-sex marriage, stating that "in order to protect individual freedoms, same-sex marriage should be allowed." The subject was expected to be debated at the National Assembly congress in spring 2013. However, in February 2013, the Ministry of Justice requested that the National Assembly avoid action until 2014.
In June 2013, the Ministry of Justice submitted the bill that removes the ban on same-sex marriage from the Marriage and Family Law and provides some rights for cohabiting same-sex couples. The National Assembly debated it in October 2013. On 24 September 2013, the Government issued the decree abolishing the fines on same-sex marriages. The decree took effect on 11 November 2013. On 27 May 2014, the National Assembly's Committee for Social Affairs removed the provision giving legal status and some rights to cohabiting same-sex couples from the government's bill to amend the Law on Marriage and Family. The bill was approved by the National Assembly on 19 June 2014.
On 1 January 2015, the 2014 Law on Marriage and Family officially went into effect. It states that while Vietnam allows gay weddings, it will not offer legal recognition or protection to unions between people of the same sex.
Article 64 of the Vietnamese constitution states that: "The family is the cell of society. The State protects marriage and the family. Marriage shall conform to the principles of free consent, progressive union, monogamy and equality between husband and wife. Parents have the responsibility to bring up their children into good citizens. Children and grandchildren have the duty to show respect to and look after their parents and grandparents. The State and society shall recognise no discrimination among children." In November 2013, the article was repealed and replaced by Article 36, which does not contain a definition of marriage.
From 12 November 2013, however, the government would no longer impose any fine on people who carry out public gay weddings. In the case local authorities appear to sanction or make intervention, they can take this Decree to protect their legitimate interests.
A survey carried out on December 2012 showed that 37% of Vietnam's population supported the legalization of same-sex marriage, while 58% were against it.
A March 2014 poll found that 33.7% support same-sex marriage while 52.9% were opposed.
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- Vietnam legalizes gay weddings
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