Vietnam Mulls Gay Marriage
Vietnam's Ministry of Justice is the soliciting the opinions of state agencies and other organizations regarding the possibility of legalizing same-sex marriage. But the change will likely not come soon.
In its latest letters to social organizations and related agencies, the ministry said it is considering legalizing same-sex marriage because increasing numbers of homosexual, bisexual and transgender people were coming out and declaring their sexual orientations. Their need to get married and live together is also increasing, while the Law on Marriage and Family issued in 2000 outlaws same-sex marriage, the ministry said. “To guarantee personal freedom, the marriage between same sex people needs to be recognized.” However, on the other hand, the ministry stressed that it is too early to legalize same-sex marriage in Vietnam, considering traditional customs. Moreover, the sensitive nature of the issue and its consequences have yet to be fully grasped, it said.The above-linked report notes that a Vietnam chapter of PFLAG recently held a seminar calling for legalization. Homosexuality is legal in Vietnam and in 2000 the national legislature repealed a law that banned cohabitation outside of marriage. In May of this year authorities intervened to stop a gay couple from marrying in the Mekong Delta. The incident reportedly sparked widespread support for the couple. (Tipped by JMG reader Hong)