Vietnamese LGBT Groups Again Blocked from Annual Cultural Celebration

Despite public outcry, parade organizers voted Monday to block LGBT groups from walking in the 2014 parade.

By Von Diaz Nov 12, 2013

For what will be the second year in a row Vietnamese LGBT groups will not be allowed to participate in the Westminster Tet Parade, an annual Chinese New Year Celebration in Orange County, Calif. Despite widespread public outcry, the Vietnamese American Federation of Southern California, which now organizes the once city-run parade, voted Monday to exclude LGBT groups from the 2014 event. 

LGBT groups have participated in the event for at least the past three years, but this year organizations such as Viet Rainbow of Orange County were banned from walking in the parade.  Some say the move reflects an ongoing "cultural divide" within Vietnamese communities, who often adhere to a strict moral code that looks down on homosexuality and gender difference.

A spokesperson for the group told the LA Times that they were prepared to respond.

"They had an opportunity to make right what was wrong, and they chose the same path. Last year we were caught off guard, but this time we’re prepared with options."