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Calif. city approves Vietnamese parade despite exclusion of gay residents

Thursday, December 12, 2013

WESTMINSTER, Calif. — A Southern California city granted a private group a permit Wednesday night to hold a Vietnamese new year’s parade, despite objections over its exclusion of the community’s gay and lesbian residents.

viet-prideMembers of a gay and lesbian group pleaded with the Westminster City Council to deny the permit to the Vietnamese American Federation of Southern California at a meeting, but the vote to grant it was unanimous.

“They say our community goes against Vietnamese tradition, but Vietnamese tradition is about love and respect,” said Joee Truong of Viet Rainbow of Orange County, which has won the attention and support of national gay rights groups like GLAAD.

Council members criticized the exclusionary policy and have urged the two groups to find a compromise, but said they have no legal choice but to grant the permit, saying it was no different than a protest march and they could not control the content.

“This whole thing has made all the people of Westminster look bad,” Councilwoman Diana Carey said. “We look like we discriminate.”

Carey said she’s spent her life “fighting against discrimination, but having said that, I took an oath to support the constitution and First Amendment rights. As egregious as this is, I have to support this.”

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Parade organizer Neil Nguyen said in the application for the permit that the purpose of the parade is to “share the traditional and social values of Vietnamese that has been passed on from generation to generation and to show unity of the Vietnamese American community,” according to the Orange County Register.

Organizers have previously said gay community members can march before or after the event.

The Tet parade has been held in the city for two decades and gay and lesbian groups were allowed in it when it was controlled by the city, but when the private group took over for the 2013 parade, they were told they could not participate, and were denied by a court when they sued for inclusion.

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28 more reader comments:

  1. Gays love Tet too! LOL

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 3:39pm
  2. This is actually legal- sorry to disappoint

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 3:40pm
  3. That’s messed up that they won’t allow guys to be part of it….

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 3:41pm
  4. How bigoted!

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 3:42pm
  5. It makes them look bad to deny LGBT representation, but they’re not required to allow everybody a slot in their parade, since it’s a private group.

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 3:42pm
  6. Walking on pubic streets which gives all Americans the right to walk on those streets too.

    Replied on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 4:21pm
  7. But when you need a permit to hold an organized parade, it's a little different. Anybody who tries to budge into that parade would be causing a public disruption. People would have to remain on the sidewalks with their banners and signs, if they want to make their show of support.

    Replied on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 4:28pm
  8. When we have our west Hollywood pride I hope there are no vietnamies there.

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 3:46pm
  9. What’s happening to our rights freedom of expression

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 4:18pm
  10. All Americans have the right to walk on ALL public streets. LGBT Californians MUST walk in the footsteps of Rolihlahla Mandela and refuse to accept any apartheid laws. WALK IN THE VIETNAM PARADE LGBT CALIFORNIANS. SHOW UP IN THE THOUSANDS AND MARCH

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 4:20pm
  11. Most pride groups have the “pride” to come up with their own flag……. they just used the gay pride flag. …..

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 4:28pm
  12. I’m pro-gay rights, but everything doesn’t have to be about gay rights. Some Vietnamese ppl just want to have a parade. Let it slide.

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 4:36pm
  13. How unfortunate.

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 4:43pm
  14. Wow…sad to see this happening.

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 4:47pm
  15. Then going forward, the city needs to take back control of the event!

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 4:48pm
  16. EXCLUDE ALL WOMEN TOO

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 5:03pm
  17. That must and will be over turned in the Courts! This is California not Mississippi!

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 5:19pm
  18. Showing unity by excluding. Great job on that one…

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 5:48pm
  19. Go California……….go!

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 6:15pm
  20. These assholes probably live in Orange County or one of the other fucked up counties.

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 11:29pm
  21. Doesn’t anyone have a right to hold a demonstration?

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 3:07am
  22. What can you expect from one of the most conservative counties in the state? Makes me ashamed to live here.

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 4:10am
  23. Awful

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 5:51am
  24. Wtf

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 6:54am
  25. Adriane Perez isn’t this where you’re from?

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 8:43am
  26. Sydney no lol sorry

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 8:46am
  27. This is in the most Republican part of the State this area of Ca is not gay friendly at all.

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 8:51am
  28. Forget I mentioned it, I guess I was thinking of someone else. :-<

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 9:10am