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16 Apr 2013

Vietnam's health ministry backs same-sex marriage

As lawmakers in Vietnam consider legalising same-sex marriage, the country's health ministry has reportedly said that it believes same-sex marriage to be a human right and should be allowed by the state.

Vietnam's largest news newspaper Tuoi Tre reported in its English-version website today that the country's health ministry has declared its support of same-sex marriage. The government is considering amendments to the Law on Marriage and Family which currently prohibits same-sex marriage.

The issue will be discussed at the national conference on reviewing the implementation of the Law on Marriage and Family in Hanoi on April 16 while amendments to the law will be submitted to the government in June and the National Assembly in October for consideration and approval.

From the Tuoi Tre newspaper. Photo courtesy ICS 
(Information Connecting and Sharing) Facebook page

Tuoitrenews.vn reported:

(The health ministry) maintains that homosexuals, like everyone else, have the right to live, to dress, to love and to be loved, and to pursue happiness.

As citizens, homosexuals have the right to have their birth and death certified, to get married, to go to school, and other rights, as well as obligations, to the State and society.

However, because they have not yet been recognized by law, homosexuals usually hide their real identities and most of them face discrimination from their families and society. They are even forced to go into mental hospitals for treatment because their orientation is sometimes viewed as a mental disease.

After all, the Health Ministry concluded that same-sex marriage should be allowed since it is a human right.

The capital city of Hanoi will see its second gay pride parade and bicycle rally to be held August 2 to 4.


Reader's Comments

1. 2013-04-16 19:09  
I couldn't be more amazed!
2. 2013-04-16 20:09  
Hooray! Long life to Vietnam! Finally, one country more that understands that being gay does not make you a bad citizen. It's important that people are happy and feel comfortable. Awesome!
3. 2013-04-16 20:40  
It's a long road but we getting there. Historically there is no gay bashing in Vietnam. However, the problem lies deeper in the family. Many people supports gay marriage but they are still ashamed of having a gay family's member. Lots of straight guys are homophobic against LGBT.
4. 2013-04-16 23:58  
hmm, tempting to move back to Vietnam
5. 2013-04-17 00:18  
Well, sometimes I know I am pretty skeptical but the distance from the bill to the law is a very long way. There is no news of gay intimidation or homophobia in Vietnam but many law scholars highly doubt that this same-sex marriage bill be become law in the new future.
6. 2013-04-17 01:05  
what?! here in sg, we just had a timid judiciary passing the buck back to parliamentary about decriminalising gay sex. And no political leaders brave enough to say section 377A tramples on basic human right.

But in Vietnam, not only are homosexuals not prosecuted, the leaders are considering allowing marriage. That it's under consideration is leaps ahead of us. We may be far ahead in terms of all measurable economic factors but our close-mindedness is 3rd world. Sigh...
7. 2013-04-17 08:36  
Wow I am not surprised that Vietnam might be the first country is South East Asia to allow gay marriages! Bravo to the Vietnamese government and they would expect to see how gay people can make a difference in their society.... tourism boom etc..
8. 2013-04-17 08:39  
For a country that is still, officially at any rate, communist, this is pretty enlightened thinking and certainly light years ahead of Singapore! Well done, Vietnam, the Singapore government has a lot to learn from you. I'm utterly ashamed to add that, while the Singapore government prides itself on having brought Singapore into the first world, the norms it espouses are really boiler-plate third world rubbish that should lie dead and buried with Queen Victoria! So, kudos to Vietnam for this earth-shattering break-through. Bravo and brava!
9. 2013-04-17 09:51  
Wow, finally good news from Vietnam & SEA. Epic!!! *thumbs up*
10. 2013-04-17 10:14  
Socially speaking, the straight men in Vietnam are great. They are not too caught up with trying to be "masculine" like North America, so being gay in Vietnam has less pressure. If the straight guys don't like you, they just brush off and go, they don't bash you harshly or to the point of extreme in public, school, workplace etc...
If the law passes, it will be icing on the cake for the gay community there.
11. 2013-04-17 13:19  
there must be a long way to go.
Comment #12 was deleted by its author on 2013-04-17 18:33
13. 2013-04-17 16:05  
Wow!!!!2 THUMBS UP to Vietnam
14. 2013-04-17 20:25  
1 for Vietnam, 0 for Singapore. The irony when a developed economy is behind a developing country in social progress.
15. 2013-04-17 20:25  
1 for Vietnam, 0 for Singapore. The irony when a developed economy is behind a developing country in social progress.
16. 2013-04-18 08:23  
I found out that the more developed or politically important the country is, the harder it will be to legalize gay marriage. Vietnam is a communist country, yet a lot of people, including the governments don't they they have any power to discriminate anyone. We are poor, less developed, and hopelessly trapped between big giants like China, Russia or USA. Think about it, it's like the richer you are, the less sympathetic you could be to the poor. Country like Japan, Korean, Singapore or China hold very important position in Asian- and the governments are more conscious about how they would look to other countries that they are doing business with. Singapore still considers gay sex illegal because it's still doing business with Islamic countries. As a Vietnamese, I honestly don't know which direction the wind will blow, but any news like this really bring hope to me and so many other LGBT people in Vietnam.
17. 2013-04-20 02:24  
Hopefully we can welcome Asia to the 21st century soon. In South Africa gay rights are protected by the constitution and gay marriage has been legal for many years. In fact my partner and I have been married for five years. I am a South African and he is a Singaporean. We are now in our eleventh year together

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