Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Viet Tien delivered a speech on Tuesday based on the review of a 13 year old Family and Marriage Law arguing that as human beings, homosexuals have the same rights as everyone else to ‘live, eat, love and be loved.’
The 2000 Marriage and Family Law bans marriage between two people of the same sex.
In his speech reviewing the anti-same-sex law, Nguyen Viet Tien stated:
“¨”¨As citizens, homosexuals have the right to have their birth and death certified, to get married, to go to school, and other rights, as well as obligations, to the State and society.
However, because they have not yet been recognized by law, homosexuals usually hide their real identities and most of them face discrimination from their families and society. They are even forced to go into mental hospitals for treatment because their orientation is sometimes viewed as a mental disease.
After all, same-sex marriage should be allowed since it is a human right.
The 2000 Marriage and Family Law is currently under review and will be going through an ongoing series of debates for amendments, implementation or removal, with the National Assembly scheduled to finally vote on the law in October. The Ministry of Health’s position on the issue is crucial.
Tien’s speech urges that same-sex marriage be approved without delay and he voices the general public’s growing support regarding the issue. Last year, the country held its first ever gay pride march in Hanoi. Last July, the Ministry of Justice began discussing the possibility of legalizing same-sex marriage. Early this month, Vietnam’s first ever gay sit-com “My Best Gay Friends” garnered over a million views on Youtube and received rave reviews from critics.
Same-sex marriage is illegal in all of Asia, which includes the most densely populated regions in the world. If Vietnam were to legalize same-sex marriage, it would be the first in an ideologically important region.