Vietnam hosts first gay parade

August 5th, 2012 - 9:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Hanoi, Aug 5 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Over 100 demonstrators Sunday rode bicycles and motorcycles through Vietnam capital Hanoi in the first gay pride parade in the communist state.

The activists drove across the capital’s central street with balloons and rainbow flags, calling for equal rights for gays and lesbians.

Until recently, Vietnam considered homosexuality as a “social evil” along with drug addiction and prostitution.

In a surprise move in July, Justice Minister Ha Hung Cuong said it might well be time to consider changes in the law on marriage and the family to recognise same sex marriages.

Cuong said he thought it was “unacceptable to create social prejudice against the homosexual community”.

He also said the legal rights of same-sex couples should be protected.

“The state should also have legal mechanisms to protect the legitimate rights such as legal personality, property ownership or children (if any) of same sex couple living together.”

Vietnam’s law on marriage and the family currently prohibits same sex unions. Vietnam could become Asia’s first nation to legalise gay marriages.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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