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Vietnam: Country’s largest Pride parade held in Hanoi

Nick Duffy August 3, 2014

Vietnam’s largest ever Pride parade has been held in the city of Hanoi today.

Around 300 activists took to the streets of the nation’s capital in the parade, which is only the third to be permitted in the country.

Some participants rode bicycles, while a giant rainbow flag was unfurled and carried through the streets.

Homosexuality is considered taboo in Vietnam, and gay couples have little formal rights, though same-sex sexual activity has never been criminalised.

Parade organiser Nguyen Trong Dung said the key to ending prejudice is making sure LGBT people are “accepted by their families”.

He said: “If they are recognised by their own families, they have a high chance of integrating into society.”

The organiser told VietnamNet: “Through solidarity and understanding, Viet Pride aims to harness the energy and strengthen the voice of LGBT people.”

“For a patriarchal society like Viet Nam, homophobia often persists in very subtle forms but is also deep rooted and internalised.

“In such a context, Viet Pride is extremely important as it upholds the cherished values of tolerance, diversity and equality.”

20-year-old student Le Kieu Oanh told AFP: “I’m here for the rights of homosexuals. I want them to be treated fairly like everyone else.”

Despite the foundations of a gay rights movement in the country, a majority of people still oppose same-sex marriage, with a poll in March finding 53% opposed, and 33% in favour.

In May this year, US President Barack Obama nominated Ted Osius – who has a young son with his husband – as an ambassador to Vietnam.

More: Asia, Equality, flag, Gay, LGBT, parade, Pride, rainbow, Rights, Vietnam, Vietnam

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