LGBT Rights Blossom in Repressive Vietnam, but No Sign of Further Freedoms


Oppressive.” “Brutal.” “Terrible and worsening.” These were some of the fierce editorial lightning bolts to scorch Vietnam’s human-rights reputation last week, hurled in the wake of a surprise 75-minute White House audience for the country’s President Truong Tan Sang. But in Hanoi, capital of the single-party communist state, a silver lining could come from an unlikely source: gay pride. Rainbows will be out in full force for the nation’s second ever Viet Pride festival on Sunday, when a 200-strong bicycle parade will cruise down streets still decorated with hammer-and-sickle billboards, passing landmarks like the resting place of national hero Ho Chi Minh and a statue of Lenin.

(MORE:From Vietnam’s Forced-Labor Camps — ‘Blood Cashews’)

Naturally, such colorful scenes mask greater woes that continue to blight Vietnam, which was recently dubbed by former U.S. Congressman Joseph Cao the “worst violator of human…

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