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

World

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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