Earlier this month, Vietnam abolished its ban on same-sex marriages. Despite the move, gay and lesbian couples will not be afforded similar rights and protections as straight couples—that would require further legislative action. However, now same-sex couples will not face prosecution for marrying in the South East Asian country. The decision has been hailed as an important step towards full equality in the communist country.
Pink News reports that Luong The Huy, of Institute for Studies of Society, Economy and Environment, an advocacy group in the Vietnamese capita of Hanoi, said lifting the ban is an important step towards spreading wider acceptance. In Vietnam, the government bans things that are seen to be harmful to society. Therefore, the message that the government is now sending to its people is that marriage equality is not a danger. Huy also spoke of the significance of Ted Osius, the openly gay US Ambassador to Vietman:
“He promotes a very good image of a very successful person who is gay. We could get more support from civil society in Vietnam because the American ambassador is gay.”
While there remains much work to be done on the LGBT rights front, advocates see this recent action as a sign of further progress to come.