Viet religious say: Don’t be gay on Tet

Escalating their opposition to gay and lesbian Vietnamese participating in the Tet Parade in Westminster, a group of Viet religious leaders and activists assert they will boycott the event, and several Catholic organizations have pulled out.

At a press conference Thursday morning, the Vietnamese group Hội Đồng Liên Tôn (Interfaith Council), who had planned to march in the parade, announced that they’re withdrawing.

The head of the group, Lutheran minister Tran Thanh Van, said, “We cannot participate if they (Vietnamese GLBT) are in the procession.” Rev. Tran said the Interfaith Council already sent in their withdrawal letter.

The Catholic representative on the council, Rev. Si Nguyen, said that he would be willing to acknowledge gay people, but not during Tet.

Said he, “During Tet, we don’t bring up ugly matters, anything unseemly in the family we hide it away, we only bring out what’s good.” He calls on “all the faithful” to stay away from Bolsa Avenue during the parade.

Garden Grove Councilmember Dina Nguyen attended the press conference, and spoke up. She said, “I don’t believe in homosexuality” (in Vietnamese: “Tôi không tin vào chuyện đồng tình [sic] luyến ái”). She didn’t explain any more about what she meant by that.

Nguyen also said that next year, she would “suggest to the City of Westminster to respect Vietnamese tradition.”

Which is something of a puzzler, because traditionally, Vietnamese may have misconceptions about gays, but they don’t exactly discriminate.

The most common misconception is that being gay is an illness. This mistaken belief showed itself at the Interfaith Council press conference through the Caodai representative Pham Van Kham, who said, “We are very sad to see our children fall victim to it” – referring to the supposed gay disease.

Other than such misconceptions, homophobia is new to Vietnam, and the country’s main religion Buddhism never made an issue out of homosexuality.

Here’s a comparison: The U.S., for example, used to have laws criminalizing gay sex, upheld as constitutional by the Supreme Court in Bowers v. Hardwick (see summary here).

Ancient Vietnamese laws, however, never criminalized homosexual behavior, even as it did have a long list of sexual crimes – a fact noted by scholars Nguyen Ngoc Huy and Ta Van Tai in vol. 1 of their massive 3-volume work “The Lê Code: Law in Traditional Vietnam.” (The late Nguyen Ngoc Huy was a legal scholar, former dean of the University of Can Tho Faculty of Law, and a leader of Tan Dai Viet, one of the top political parties of South Vietnam. He also participated as a member of the South Vietnamese delegation at the Paris Peace Talks. He came to the US after the war and taught at Harvard Law School.)

Meanwhile, the LGBT groups that are in the parade are not pulling out. If anything, they’re more determined. On Facebook, someone has put up an invitation for the “Viet LGBT Contingent” to join the march. It has, however, so far drawn only 22 yes’s.

The four participating groups are: Sống Thật Radio; Ô-MôiGay Vietnamese Alliance; and the Vietnamese Lesbian and Bisexual Women Network and Friends.

This entry was posted in events, political and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

74 Responses to Viet religious say: Don’t be gay on Tet

  1. Jung Kim's commandment says:

    Third commandment : ‘You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain”.

    Jung Kim, it is a sin for using God for your political gains.

  2. Pingback: Politicians show up at the Little Saigon Tet Festival | New Santa Ana

  3. Jung Kim says:

    New Santa Ana Says:
    February 13th, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    “[...] in the parade, but they didn’t cause any trouble. Everyone just looked happy to be there.”

    This is good news.

  4. Jung Kim says:

    You still wants to hold on to your dice with a firm grip.

    It’s time to let it go and make that important decision today.

  5. Jung Kim mother says:

    Jung Kim, this is your mother. Did you go to K-mart and get me some tampons? I only have enough for a few more days. Also, two of my red lacy underwears are missing and the rest are a little loose. Have you been wearing them again? I told you not to do that anymore. If you need them that bad, I’ll give you some money to buy your own.

  6. jose s. says:

    pedroza quit blogwhorring.

  7. Lower Attendance says:

    I have been attending the Westminster Tet Parade for the past three or four years, when ever the city is host to this event.

    I can tell you objectively that this year’s parade is down in attendance by about 20%, despite the beautiful weather.

    I do not know because of the Lgbts participating that may have an effect on attendance, but the crowd is noticeably thinner than last year.

  8. Jung Kim says:

    ” I do not know because of the Lgbts participating that may have an effect on attendance, but the crowd is noticeably thinner than last year.”

    I don’t think it’s Lgbt’s participation issue…people are little more pressured these days due to poor economy.

  9. Jung Kim says:

    Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you (Isaiah 46:4).

  10. whataheo says:

    “Jung Kim, Son, have you forgotten the fact that Jesus’s last supper was a sausage fest.”

    LMAO, you guys are killing me, hahaha.

  11. Jung Kim says:

    Art is mad at God. What can we say? Time will heal him..hopefully.

  12. John Nguyen says:

    “Can’t we all just get along?”

    It is quite sad to see so much opposition against the gay/lesbian community. I am glad they were able to participate in this year’s parade. For all those who feel anyone who boycotted this parade is communist, they are actually just Americans like us practicing their rights as American citizens. I hope this parade will help initiate more discussions within the community to change their perception or to bring about a better understanding of gays & lesbians.

    As leaders Andy Quach and Dina Nguyen should work to unite all members in the community, not discriminate or abandon a group based on their sexual preferences or whatever it may be.

    I am a heterosexual Vietnamese-American Catholic, I support rights for all individuals, not just for people like me.

  13. Jane Doe says:

    It’s one thing about supporting rights, it is totally a different matter when one group (LGBT) wants to parade and flaunt it’s untraditional sexual practices and non-traditional family values in an event that promotes family values and tradition.

    There is a time and place for everything and a public parade down Bolsa Avenue on the most traditional holiday by an LGBT group is both I appropriate and crass.

  14. Jung Kim says:

    There needs to be a balance…… LGBT group should be treated with proper respect but also they can not be out right boastful with pride for being who they are……

    Did someone have said the word “repent” meant change of thoughts?…….. and maybe life styles? It applies to all of us both straight and gay.

  15. trant says:

    Well, we try to celebrate the traditional Tet, what ever creates any problem, any issue or any conflict for their own benefits must go away. So, I definitely support Rev. Si Nguyen, the GLBT and the politicians must be out. Let us enjoy the old spirit, no sex symbol, no political, no war and no argument.

  16. Jung Kim says:

    trant Says:
    February 14th, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    Well, we try to celebrate the traditional Tet, what ever creates any problem, any issue or any conflict for their own benefits must go away. So, I definitely support Rev. Si Nguyen, the GLBT and the politicians must be out. Let us enjoy the old spirit, no sex symbol, no political, no war and no argument.

    trant, this is a fair statement and good solution to avoid unnecessary mockery and division. Let’s all bring back family togetherness.

  17. Jung Kim says:

    Gays and lesbians are God’s favorite children. That’s why he made so few of them.

  18. Jung Kim says:

    Jung Kim Says:
    February 14th, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    Gays and lesbians are God’s favorite children. That’s why he made so few of them.

    Another wannabe post from a closet occupant Art Pedroza.

  19. Jane Doe says:

    Trant,

    Who do you think hosted and organized the Tet Parade? It’s the politicians. You must be a moron to think that you can keep them out. How? When the parade is happening in their city, and with their approval. No duh!!

  20. Pingback: Viet religious say: Don’t be gay on Tet in Little Saigon | Ashoka.org: News & Knowledge Entrepreneurs

  21. Please note! says:

    PTA Parent on February 14, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    Thank God we have leaders like Andy Quach who have raised the moral bar very high in the name of protecting our children. I am quite sure the women depicted on Andy’s award winning car reflect his high standards for decency and honor for “joyous cultural celebration.” The people of Westminster must be very proud of Andy Quach’s vigilant protection of its “All American City” status. Happy New Year to Andy and all of the Van Crew. You continue to make those of us in the Democratic Party thankful you are not one of us.

  22. Jung Kim says:

    PTA Parent, Yes, finally I have received my Stimulus check from Obama. Did you get yours?

    Today’s Democratic party is extremely divided among two groups;

    Pro -socialists and

    Chicago mob supporting fat bankers.

  23. Pingback: Chúc mừng năm mới! « thadieu's opera rambling outlet

  24. Pingback: Judge Denies Injunction Request to Allow Participation of LGBT Group in Tet Parade

Leave a Reply