Vietnam's Communist government is
considering whether to legalize gay marriage. If approved, Vietnam
would become the first country in Asia to do so.
The AP reported that the country's
Justice Ministry is considering including gay couples in its overhaul
of Vietnam's marriage law.
“I think, as far as human rights are
concerned, it's time for us to look at the reality,” said Justice
Minister Ha Hung Cuong on Tuesday. “The number of homosexuals has
mounted to hundreds of thousands. It's not a small figure. They
live together without registering marriage. They may own property.
We, of course, have to handle these issues legally.”
The move stunned regional gay rights
“I think everyone is surprised,”
said Vien Tanjung, an Indonesian gay rights activist. “Even if
it's not successful, it's already making history. For me,
personally, I think it's going to go through.”
Being gay in Vietnam can result in a
jail sentence or whipping with a rattan cane, the AP noted.
With an estimated 91.5 million
inhabitants, Vietnam ranks as the world's 13th
Gay rights activists in Hanoi will hold
the country's first gay pride parade on August 5.
The Justice Ministry will first
consider the opinions from the public along with government agencies
before deciding whether to recommend marriage or some other legal
recognition for gay couples to the National Assembly.