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March 22, 2014

The ASEAN SOGIE Caucus calls on the ASEAN governments to place greater priority on the well-being and welfare of all peoples in its 10 member-states

LGBT rights activists attending the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Civil Society Conference/ ASEAN People’s Forum (ACSC/APF) in Yangon, Myanmar from 21 to 23 March 2014 are continuing to lobby its 10 member-states to promote and protect the rights of its LGBTIQ people.

The 10 member-states are: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The ACSC/APF is held ahead of the ASEAN Summit in May which will also be hosted by Myanmar, the Chair of ASEAN this year.

October 29, 2013

Hundreds of Vietnamese LGBTs and their supporters have gathered in a Hanoi park to watch the symbolic marriages of two gay and lesbian couples and to show their government their support on the issue

Hundreds of LGBT Vietnamese and their supporters have gathered in a Hanoi park for the ‘Toi Dong Y’ festival to call for marriage equality while the government decides what to do on the issue.

The large crowd gathered Sunday morning with rainbow flags and balloons to watch a gay couple and a lesbian couple marry symbolically and cheered then they threw their wedding bouquets.

The event also received a lot of support online, with nearly 60,000 liking it on Facebook.

October 27, 2013

Forced to abandon education due to bullying, community survives on jobs regarded as lowly, like performing at funerals

A month-long study conducted on transsexual people’s livelihoods in Vietnam has found the community the victims of discrimination and stuck with unsatisfying jobs or no jobs at all.

The study – Sinh Ke Cua Nguoi Chuyen Gioi (Transsexual people’s livelihoods) – by the Institute for Studies of Society, Economy and Environment (iSEE) has found the majority of respondents, 52 per cent, unhappy with their jobs, which they called badly paid.

October 20, 2013

Dr Natalie Newton’s online project to highlight the contributions of LGBTs in Vietnamese and Vietnamese-American history

The war in Vietnam ended in 1975, for some. But for Vietnam’s gay community, it still continues, whether they be at home or abroad.

Though the Southeast Asian country recently had its gay pride and the current government is hearing a debate on whether to legalize same-sex marriages, historically and culturally, homosexuality still remains taboo.

October 13, 2013

The $24 fine will be scrapped from 11 Nov; however, legalization of same-sex marriage still a distant dream

A new decree intended to address discrimination against the LGBT community in Vietnam comes into effect on 11 November, doing away with the current system of slapping fines of up to $24 on same-sex weddings.

However, while scrapping the symbolic punishment will boost gay rights in the communist country, it is still a long way from legalizing gay marriages, keeping gay couples in limbo.

Though the Vietnam government is tolerant of the gay rights movement and the annual gay parade is growing, legally, same-sex marriages are still banned.

October 8, 2013

A group of US military veterans have added their voices to the campaign to legalize same-sex marriage in the state of Illinois as efforts to force the reform mount

US military veterans have joined the campaign to legalize same-sex marriage in the state of Illinois where the governor and state senate have backed the reform but the Republican controlled House of Representatives continues to block progress.

Veterans Unite for Marriage decided to organize after the US Department of Veterans Affairs announced in September that it would begin providing equal benefits to military personnel who were legally married in their home states.

September 17, 2013

95-year-old World War II veteran John Banvard has married 67-year-old Vietnam veteran Gerard Nadeau - his partner of 20 years - at a San Diego seniors home

A Chula Vista, San Diego military seniors home saw its first ever same-sex marriage on Thursday when residents John Banvard and Gerard Nadeau tied the knot.

Banvard, 95, and Nadeau, 67, decided to get married after 20 years of living together after the US Supreme Court upheld the striking down of California’s Prop 8 ban on same-sex couples getting married.

‘We were waiting on the Supreme Court to make that decision,’ Banvard told Fox5 San Diego.

September 1, 2013

Communist state mulls allowing same-sex marriages but still keeps trans women out of beauty contests on the basis of a technicality

Vietnam’s Ministry of Health has been urging the government to allow same-sex marriages and the call was recently reiterated by the Ministry of Justice.

However, while the LGBTQ community in the country may look forward to marrying same-sex partners legally in the future, transgender women are still not allowed to take part in beauty pageants, thanks to an old decree.

The contradiction has come to light once more with the popular Vietnam’s Next Top Model 2013 contest weeding out transgender participants.

August 30, 2013

What exactly is happening in Thailand and Vietnam on law reform to recognize gay and lesbian relationships? Doug Sanders reports from Bangkok and Hanoi

While the focus has been on gay marriage in the West, same-sex partnership rights have also been on the move in South East Asia. We examine progress in Thailand and Vietnam, where the legislation could be debated this year.

Thailand

In the fall of 2012, the issue of legal recognition for same-sex relationships was taken up by the Committee on Legal Affairs, Justice and Human Rights of the House of Representatives, the lower house in the Thai Parliament.

August 12, 2013

Organizers have declared Hanoi’s 2013 Viet Pride festival a success, with turnout exceeding their expectations

Organizers of the second annual Viet Pride LGBT pride festival say this year’s Viet Pride bicycle rally was twice as big as last year’s event.

Around 250 people gathered at Hanoi’s Giang Vo Lake to ride to Dien Bien Phu Street, passing the Ho Chi Min Mausoleum and Vietnam’s House of Parliament to terminate in Lenin Park.

Riders wore white t-shits with the slogan ‘Love = Human Right’ over a rainbow graphic and were lead by a team sporting rainbow flags.

July 30, 2013

Vietnam’s Ministry of Justice has followed on the heels of the country’s Ministry of Health in backing plans to eventually legalize same-sex marriage in the Marxist-Leninist single party state

Vietnam’s Ministry of Justice has backed plans for the eventual legalization of same-sex marriage in the one party socialist state – submitting a draft of an amended Law on Marriage and Family to the government.

The Justice Ministry wants an end to Clause 5 Article 10 in Vietnam’s Law on Family and Marriage which explicitly bans same-sex marriage and has suggest equalizing the age at which people can get married regardless of sex in preparation for greater change.

July 10, 2013

Hanoi will host the second ever Viet Pride Festival for the second year in a row this August under the theme ‘Strive with Pride’

Vietnam will host its second LGBT pride festival in two years from 2-4 August.

The organizers of the 2013 Viet Pride Festival in Hanoi are hopeful of building on the success of last year’s event.

[In 2012] for the first time ever, Vietnam saw the rainbow flag waving at its capital’s streets, bringing tears to the eyes of many Vietnamese LGBTs,’ organizers said in a statement.

July 10, 2013

Hanoi will host the second ever Viet Pride Festival for the second year in a row this August under the theme ‘Strive with Pride’

Vietnam will host its second LGBT pride festival in two years from 2-4 August.

The organizers of the 2013 Viet Pride Festival in Hanoi are hopeful of building on the success of last year’s event.

[In 2012] for the first time ever, Vietnam saw the rainbow flag waving at its capital’s streets, bringing tears to the eyes of many Vietnamese LGBTs,’ organizers said in a statement.

June 11, 2013

Being LGBT in Asia launched on on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and Chinese social networks QQ, Weibo and Douban

The LGBT community across Asia has just got new dedicated platforms across social media to unite and communicate.

The project, called Being LGBT in Asia, is funded by the UN Development Program (UNDP) and US aid program (USAID).

New Being LGBT in Asia accounts have been set up on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and Chinese social networks QQ, Weibo and Douban.

May 21, 2013

Gay Vietnamese-Canadian fashion design lecturer who lives in Ho Chi Minh City argues Vietnam is not ready for gay marriage

In response to Vietnam marching ahead of other Asian nations towards legalizing same-sex marriage, a gay Vietnamese-Canadian fashion design lecturer who lives in Ho Chi Minh City said that the country is not ready for marriage equality.

Legalizing gay marriage would not make Vietnam '"cool" when it has failed to acknowledge other gay rights issues', Valentine Vu writes in an editorial for Tuoitre News.

May 21, 2013

UN's resident co-ordinator in Vietnam praises the Southeast Asian nation's LGBT rights achievements in the last year

The UN has congratulated Vietnam on the progress of the LGBT rights movement in the Southeast Asian nation.

'This is vital in order to be better understood, to reduce social prejudice and stigma based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and to contribute to development of relevant legislation to ensure the rights of the community are protected,' said Pratibha Mehta, the UN's resident co-ordinator in Vietnam, Vietnamnet reports.

April 19, 2013

Huong Giang wears dress made of 2,000 condoms as part of publicity campaign funded by USAID

Transgender Vietnam Idol finalist Huong Giang is the latest celebrity to wear a dress made of 2,000 condoms for a safe sex campaign.

Giang told Tuoitre News Vietnam she is happy for her name to be associated with condom-use and wants to send the public, particularly young people, a message about safe sex.

April 19, 2013

Huong Giang wears dress made of 2,000 condoms as part of publicity campaign funded by USAID

Transgender Vietnam Idol finalist Huong Giang is the latest celebrity to wear a dress made of 2,000 condoms for a safe sex campaign.

Giang told Tuoitre News Vietnam she is happy for her name to be associated with condom-use and wants to send the public, particularly young people, a message about safe sex.

April 16, 2013

Deputy health minister to say gay people have the same rights to love, be loved and marry during a speech today

Vietnam's deputy health minister is expected to recommend that gay marriage be legalized during a speech reviewing marriage and family law today.

Nguyen Viet Tien will deliver the speech in Hanoi today, Thanh Nien News reports. He will say that gay people have the same rights as everyone else to love, be loved and marry.

April 3, 2013

Civil Rights Defenders approves funding application for second Viet Pride in August, with bicycle rally and equality in employment campaign

A Swedish international human rights organization has approved a grant for a Pride celebration in Vietnam this year.

Civil Rights Defenders has given Viet Pride $6,000 (US dollar, €4,700) that will be spent on a campaign against discrimination towards LGBT people in employment and the second Viet Pride bicycle rally.

March 29, 2013

Are families really cheaper by the dozen? One gay couple in the US knows the answer – they have 10 adopted kids. Dad Clint tells us their amazing story and why they get free desserts

Clint McCormack always wanted to have kids. But neither he, nor his partner Bryan, ever expected to raise 10 boys.

With Mark, 20, Cooper, four, Garret, 18, Kenny, 20, Keegan, 14, Seth, 17, Graeme, 19, Liam, eight, Hayden, seven, and Caleb, 13, they may well be the biggest gay family in the world.

As the Supreme Court puts gay marriage at the top of the news agenda, I asked Clint how he ended up with such a big family and what its like living with 10 growing boys.

How did you start your family?

March 3, 2013

A 20 year old Vietnamese man will face a firing squad and another will spend the rest of his life in jail after they conspired to rob and murder a gay man they had met online

The appeals court of the supreme court of Vietnam ruled on Friday that two young men who conspired to rob and murder a gay man in April should not have their sentences reduced.

Luu Phuong Dong, 20, and Nguyen Quoc Thai, 22, both natives of Long An Province murdered Trieu Chi Tam, 30, of Tien Giang province, in order to steal his motor scooter and other valuables to solve their money problems.

March 3, 2013

A 20 year old Vietnamese man will face a firing squad and another will spend the rest of his life in jail after they conspired to rob and murder a gay man they had met online

The appeals court of the supreme court of Vietnam ruled on Friday that two young men who conspired to rob and murder a gay man in April should not have their sentences reduced.

Luu Phuong Dong, 20, and Nguyen Quoc Thai, 22, both natives of Long An Province murdered Trieu Chi Tam, 30, of Tien Giang province, in order to steal his motor scooter and other valuables to solve their money problems.

February 22, 2013

Government steps in to stop local authority from reversing recognition of intersex person's gender

Vietnam's Ministry of Justice has ordered the local government in Binh Phuoc province to halt their decision to reverse their recognition of intersex teacher Pham Le Quynh Tram's gender.

The halt was demanded while the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Health wait for Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung's decision on the matter, Tuoitre News reports.