Vice President Kamala Harris met with LGBTQ and disability activists before leaving Vietnam.
Harris held a roundtable discussion that included Chu Thanh Hà Ngoc, a transgender activist, and Đoàn Thanh Tùng, an LGBTQ activist. They discussed the state of LGBTQ rights in the Asian country and how America could best support their civil rights.
“It is critical that if we are to take on the challenges we face that we do it in a way that is collaborative, that we must empower leaders in every sector, including of course government but community leaders, business leaders, civic society if we are to maximize the resources we collectively have,” Harris said.
“Transgender people deserve and need equal access to healthcare services. This is an issue that we still face in the United States, and it is an issue here in Vietnam, I know. And we will work together and support you and the work you are doing in that regard.”
Harris noted that the recently enacted “transgender rights law” was drafted by the Vietnamese Health Ministry.
Former American ambassador to Vietnam Ted Osius, who served from 2014-2017, is a gay man.
Before leaving, Harris also stopped by a memorial to former Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). McCain, a Vietnam War hero, was shot down in the country before being held prisoner and tortured for years.
Today, on the three-year anniversary of his passing, I paid my respects to an American hero, Senator John McCain. At this site in 1967, then-Lieutenant Commander McCain was shot down. We honor his sacrifice in Vietnam, and the sacrifice of all our men and women in uniform. pic.twitter.com/rrxJ8RUxQJ
— Vice President Kamala Harris (@VP) August 25, 2021