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It’s Time for Elected Officials to Stand Against Tet Parade Bigotry

Stigma-Sign-Bigotry-TioleranceIt’s not often that I throw down a challenge to elected officials asking them to take a strong stand against the bigotry of some of their constituents. Today brings one of those exceptions. I had hoped that the organizers of the 2013 Tet Parade in Westminster would recognize diversity and not exclude the Partnership of Viet LGBT Organizations from participation in the 2013 Tet Parade.

Since 2010, the group has respectfully represented the LGBT community that is part of the Vietnamese community in Orange County. In 2010, when participating groups initially threatened to pull out of the parade  if the LGBT contingent was allowed to participate, the bigots threatened to pull out of the parade. That same rationale is being used as a reason to exclude the Partnership of Viet LGBT Organizations this year.

The Orange County Register reported yesterday:

Organizers suggested to the LGBT representatives that they host their own parade on the same day but not be a part of the greater event, which annually draws about 10,000 people.

“They said that if we participate, other groups will pull out,” said Tuan Trong Le, a Rowland Heights resident and co-founder of the Gay Vietnamese Alliance.

“They deny our human rights, which they’ve been fighting for all these years. What about us? We’re not humans?” Le said, as other supporters held a giant rainbow banner representative of the gay community.

This has been a standard used by groups throughout history to deny participation by LGBT community groups in public events involving the public at -large. Well isf thy are so concerned about bigoted groups pulling out of their parade, maybe it’s time for elected officials to issue the same ultimatum. Many elected officials in Orange County, both Republican and Democrat, oppose discrimination in all its forms, including LGBT discrimination.

So here is my challenge. Elected officials, many who have participated in this community event for years, should notify the parade organizing committee that they cannot support discrimination against the rights of communities recognized as minority and oppressed groups in the state of California. Therefore, if the LGBT contingent, represented by the Partnership of Viet LGBT Organizations, is not allowed to fully participate in this years parade, they will not be participating as well.

Bigotry cannot be tolerated in our civilized society. Our elected officials must take a stand against bigotry, particularly when their participation in and event delivers tacit support of such bigotry.


  1. Greg Diamond Greg Diamond February 5, 2013

    I agree that they should speak up on this, but I don’t know if they need to not participate if the demands aren’t honored. That gives up a prominent forum to continue bringing visibility to the controversy.

    I do think that, if they show, they should wear rainbow armbands; pointedly incorporate GLBT reps into their cars, floats, and whatever elses; and so on to make clear where they stand. Doing so would probably be more popular with the crowd than the backwards sponsors imagine. The absence of critics, by contrast, would likely be seen by the bigots as a victory. But that’s just my personal view; I leave it to GLBT groups to form their demands as they see fit.

    • Thang Nguyen Thang Nguyen February 5, 2013

      i agree.

  2. Jeff LeTourneau Jeff LeTourneau February 5, 2013

    This issue has so many ugly layers when you start to consider the implications of public officials and public entities regularly participating in this parade. Tonight, GG School Board Member Bao Nguyen will move to stop the School Board from participating in the parade. Please show your support by attending the meeting @ 10331 Stanford Ave. Fifth Floor, GG. Try to arrive at 6:30 and sign up for the public comment period. KEEP UP THE PRESSURE!!!!!!!!

  3. David Viet Nguyen David Viet Nguyen February 6, 2013

    As a board member of the Gay Vietnamese Alliance, thank you so much for your support. To update, the Garden Grove School Board has voted to withdraw participation from the Tet Parade if our LGBT contingent is denied. With all the publicity and public pressure, let’s hope that things will fall in our favor this weekend. Please keep sharing our story and keep the momentum going!

  4. Hung Vu Hung Vu February 6, 2013

    Tet 2013 Parade is for traditional culture of Vietnamese new year day. So the valuation culture should be respected. The Partnership of Viet LGBT Organizations is not present anything for those traditional culture of VN. Then there is no reason for the present of Viet LGBT Organizations in this even.

    • JM Ivler JM Ivler February 6, 2013

      Wow! Just Wow!

      I say that you should ban all them white folks that are there as well since they don’t have anything to do with “traditional culture of Vietnamese new year day.”

      All those damn white people did was show up in your country and start killing the slant eyes. I guess that after 100 years under French rule and then 10 under US that might actually be considered “traditional culture” by some, but I would say that killing, enslaving and dominating the culture of a foreign country doesn’t quite qualify.

      So, when you ban whitey from participating rather than people with Vietnamese heritage who actually celebrate the event, maybe your little bigoted screed will carry some actual weight. Until that time, you just come off looking like your standard average homophobic bigot.

      [sorry if the over-the-top rhetoric offends anyone, but Hung Vu’s denial of LBGT Vietnamese heritage due to their gender identity or sexual orientation offends the heck out of me.]

  5. Vern Vern February 6, 2013

    As the great Bolsavik has told us, TET ITSELF IS AN HONORING OF A GAY VIET GENERAL – “Le Van Duyet, a warrior whose military prowess helped found the Nguyen dynasty, the last dynasty of Vietnam.
    The first Nguyen emperor made Duyet the vice-roy of all of southern Vietnam – the area that would become Cochinchina and included today’s Saigon.”

    Great article, check it out. The Viet bigots, led by Bishop Van Thanh Tran of the Lutheran Reform Church Vietnamese, should be drummed out of town. Maybe they would fit in better back in Communist Vietnam where bigotry is still cool.

  6. Vern Vern February 6, 2013

    Gay Viets, and their honorary-gay honorary-Viet supporters, are marching in defiance anyway, Sunday morning, 8:30, in front of the Asian Garden Mall, 9200 Bolsa.

    That’s where any progressive politician with any balls should be, with THEM. I want to see Loretta, Michele, Sal, David, and the rest THERE.

  7. kiet pham kiet pham February 7, 2013

    This Tet parade is organize by group of Vietnamese members. They have the rights to refuse LBGTs participating in parade. If you want to have parade, you can have your own parade. If the organizers don’t allow you to join, it’s their rights, too. You have to understand, you cannot act like a child. Leave the organizers alone, so they are able to make a good Tet parade.

  8. Skyler Skyler February 7, 2013

    I think LBGTs should have your own parade. The organizers have the rights to refuse LBGTs participating in Tet parade. This is not run by a City or a government so LBGTs have to understand. You cannot just forcing them to have you join the Tet parade. It’s their rights to exclusive LBGTs group. If LBGTs really care for the community, do not try to petition on Tet parade day to make things worst.

  9. Skyler Skyler February 7, 2013

    I think LBGTs should have your own parade. The organizers have the rights to refuse your participating in Tet parade. This is not organize by City or Government. LGBTs have to understand this. You guys are not a child so before you want to do something make sure you think it careful. If LGBTs group are really care for the people around you, don’t try to petition on Tet parade day. It will make things as worst as you never know.

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