LookAtVietnam – After the local authorities penalized two men in Ha Tien city for holding a same-sex wedding, ICS, the largest organization on the interest of homosexuals in Vietnam, has stated that it was legal when the two men organized their wedding party without marriage registration.
Nguyen Hoang Bao Quoc and Truong Van Hen.
In its announcement released on May 30, ICS supported the wedding of Nguyen Hoang Bao Quoc and Truong Van Hen, reasoning that holding wedding party without marriage registration is completely legal. This organization praised the two men for being brave to overcome social discrimination to live with their true nature.
“Love and be loved is not the privilege of any gender. The right to seek happiness is the most fundamental right of everyone. ICS is glad because your love is supported by your families, who organized a wedding for you. This is a humane activity based on parents’ love for their childrenâ¦,” the press release wrote.
Admitting that same-sex marriage is contrary to the Law on Marriage and Family, ICS said that the Vietnamese law does not ban two persons of the same sex from having relationships, on conditions that they are voluntary, are not juvenile and there is no connection with prostitution.
“Holding a wedding party is not considered as getting married, because it is not recognized by the law. The wedding party is only a get-together so it is wrong if the authorities ban or dismiss it just because it is held by two people of the same sex. Every citizen has the right to do things that are not banned by the law,” ICS said.
According to ICS, the local authorities’ threat to impose fine on the couple is the serious violation of the residential freedom right of citizens. “In other countries, this act can be charged as hate crime,” it wrote.
A same-sex wedding in the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang’s Ha Tien town has drawn public attention for the last two weeks.
Local people in Ha Tien town in the southern province of Kien Giang keep talking about the wedding of two men though the event has passed for a week.
On May 16, the wedding of Truong Van Hen, 22 (bride) and Nguyen Hoang Bao Quoc (groom) took place at a house on Phuong Thanh Road. The wedding was held in large scale, with the witness of the two men’s parents and the participation of hundreds of guests.
After that the local government asked the couple and their families to come to the local police station to educate them and give them an administrative fine, because the wedding “broke the Law on Marriage and Family.”
Previously, two girls named Nga and Nhu held a marriage and they were also fined for breaking the law.
According to ICS, 19 countries and territories in the world have recognized same-sex marriage. Forty-four others have permitted people of the same sex to register to legally live together under the forms named “civil marriage”, “registered relationship”, “family relations”, etc. with similar rights like marriage of different-sex couples.
Lawyer Nguyen Van Duc from Can Tho city said that there are no grounds for imposing administrative fines on the families that organized same-sex wedding for their children, because the couple did not register for marriage so they are not a legal couple. “The local authorities can only ask them to come to their office to educate them,” he said.