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Rain did fall on Tet Parade but Political Courage Ruled the Day

2013 Tet Parade organizers stand before the LGBT group who they excluded from participating in the parade. (Photo: Chris Prevatt)
2013 Tet Parade organizers stand before the LGBT group who they excluded from participating in the parade. (Photo: Chris Prevatt)

On Sunday morning thousands of people celebrated the Lunar New Year by witnessing the procession of politicians, community leaders, organizations, and businesses participating in the 2013 Tet Parade. Other than some intermittent rain, and a generator failure, the parade went smoothly. There was no conflict between organizers and the Partnership of Vietnamese LGBT Organizations and their supporters who were excluded from entry in the parade. The organizers even went so far as to bar the Union of Vietnamese Student Associations from including the LGBT contingent with their entry.

Union of Vietnamese Student Associations contingent in 2013 Tet Parade in Westminster, CA (Photo: Chris Prevatt)

There were some notable elected officials absent from the parade this year, many specifically because of the decision to exclude the LGBT group. No members of the Orange County Congressional delegation, including Congressmembers Alan Lowenthal and Loretta Sanchez, were in attendance. State Senator Lou Correa declined to attend. First District Orange County Supervisor Janet Nguyen was absent. Westminster City Councilman Sergio Contreras was absent along with the school board members from Westminster and Garden Grove. While Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido and Mayor Pro Tem Sal Tinajero had announced they would be in the parade, however they joined the Council members David Benavides and Roman Renya who had withdrawn their entries in the parade on Friday and did not attend. No member of the Santa Ana City Council participated in the parade. Also absent was Garden Grove Councilman Kris Beard.

Assemblyman Tom Daly (light-blue shirt) takes a moment away from participating in the 2013 Tet Parade to recognize demonstrators in solidarity with the Partnership of Vietnamese LGBT Organizations. To the right of Daly is Democratic Party of Orange County Chairman Henry Vandermeir. (Photo: Chris Prevatt)
Assemblyman Tom Daly (light-blue shirt) takes a moment away from participating in the 2013 Tet Parade to recognize demonstrators in solidarity with the Partnership of Vietnamese LGBT Organizations. To the right of Daly is Democratic Party of Orange County Chairman Henry Vandermeir. (Photo: Chris Prevatt)

Assemblyman Tom Daly did participate in the parade, but he stopped his car and got out to greet, and offer his support to, the pro-equality demonstrators.

Rancho Santiago Community College District Trustee Jose Solorio exits his parade vehicle to join the peaceful demonstration by supporters of the Partnership of Vietnamese LGBT Organizations which was excluded from the 2013 Tet Parade. (Photo: Chris Prevatt)
Rancho Santiago Community College District Trustee Jose Solorio exits his parade vehicle to join the peaceful demonstration by supporters of the Partnership of Vietnamese LGBT Organizations which was excluded from the 2013 Tet Parade. (Photo: Chris Prevatt)

Rancho Santiago Community College District Trustee Jose Solorio kicked Assemblyman Daly’s move up a notch by exiting his vehicle to join the demonstration, ans then sent his car on its way for the organizers to announce his name, to their embarrassment, without him in it. Solorio did not rejoin the parade.

Westminster Councilwoman Diana Carey carried a LGBT Pride flag along with South Vietnamese and American flags as she walked along the parade route.

Westminster Councilwoman Diana Carey participates in the 2013 Tet Parade in Westminster holding LBGT Pride Flag in support of the LGBT group barred from participating in the parade.
Westminster Councilwoman Diana Carey participates in the 2013 Tet Parade in Westminster holding LBGT Pride Flag in support of the LGBT group barred from participating in the parade. (Photo Chris Prevatt)

We note that former Democratic Assembly Candidate Joseph Dovinh joined his wife, Garden Grove Councilwoman Dina Nguyen in the parade. Dina Nguyen, as one of the two attorneys representing the parade organizers in their discriminatory practices was expected. Mr. Dovinh, for all his protestations that he was a pro-LGBT democrat during his Assembly bid, turns out to be nothing more than another anti-LGBT bigot.

Garden Grove Councilwoman Dina Nguyen, accompanied  by her husband Joseph Dovinh, waves to the crowds at 2013 Tet Parade in Westminster
Garden Grove Councilwoman Dina Nguyen, accompanied by her husband Joseph Dovinh, waves to the crowd at 2013 Tet Parade in Westminster. (photo: Chris Prevatt)

What we witnessed today, was a respectful demonstration of political courage and principle. The elected officials who chose to not participate in the Tet parade this year, did so on the principle of equality for all. When Santa Ana Councilman David Benavides told me on Friday that he was withdrawing his entry in the parade he said; “I canceled my participation in the Tet Parade and sent a message to the Chairman of the organizing committee that my decision was due to their discrimination against the LGBT community. It was the right thing to do.”

I appreciate the efforts of Assemblyman Tom Daly to be supportive, but just acknowledging those demonstrating in support of equality is not the same as taking action in direct response to discrimination. While I also appreciate Westminster Councilwoman Diana Carey for her effort to show solidarity by carrying a pride flag quite frankly, that’s not enough.

It would have been nice if Councilwoman Carey had followed the lead of her colleague Sergio Contreras and stayed home. Mr. Daly took several steps towards the line of opposing blatant discrimination in its most basic form. But be did not follow the lead of his predecessor in the State Assembly, Rancho Community College District Trustee Jose Solorio.

Assemblyman Jose Solorio standing strong with Partnership of Vietnamese LGBT Organizations at 2013 Tet Parade (Photo: Chris Prevatt)
Assemblyman Jose Solorio standing strong with Partnership of Vietnamese LGBT Organizations at 2013 Tet Parade (Photo: Chris Prevatt)

Trustee Solorio stood firm on the right side of the line between condoning discrimination and opposing it. There was no grey area in his action, and there were likely some political costs. But he took his stand anyway. He did the Right thing, and shoved that fact under the noses of the parade organizers. The fact is, those who took a stand today, be it to not participate, to carry a flag, pose for pictures with those demonstrating, or withdrawing during the parade, all took a stand. Next comes the work they all need to do to make sure this type of discriminatory behavior never happens again at a public event using public facilities.

There is a solid line when it comes to support for equality and opposition to discrimination and bigotry. Public officials can only ride on one side or the other. Straddling the line, or looking for area’s of grey, is simply unacceptable.


  1. Khanh Ho Khanh Ho February 10, 2013

    I am proud to have participated in the peaceful demonstration of solidarity with my LGBT brothers and sisters, to recognize that I am part of a human fabric that refuses to be sundered. I stand with those who recognize democratic values and recognize the significance of equal access…for all!

  2. Joe Dovinh Joe Dovinh February 10, 2013


    Your attack against me and name calling is wrong. For the record, you were there when I went to the LGBT group and talked to one of their leaders Mr. Tuan Trong Le of the Gay Vietnamese Alliance. He is a brother of a very good friend of mine going back 20 years. I do not believe that anyone should have to sue to be included in the Tet Parade. It should be a civil and democratic process. Tet is not a time to be divisive. I support LGBTs to be a part of the community, not apart from the community. This year was a lose-lose. Even though we had a Tet Parade, it happened under clouds. For next year’s Tet Parade, we should look for a win-win situation together. Pray for brighter skies in the future… Happy New Year of the Snake!

    • Chris Prevatt Chris Prevatt Post author | February 10, 2013


      Interesting that you would then treat your friends with such disrespect. You could have at least walked over and offered your support to the demonstrators. YOU DID NOT. You instead walked with your wife, who has demonstrated her lack of decorum, taste, and ethics with the exhibits she presented in court. I cannot blame you for your wife’s actions, but I can question your sincerity based upon your own actions, or in this case, lack there of.

      Your are correct that Tet is not a time for division. If you truly support inclusiveness, I would hope that you would speak up. Apparently, your wife has had hold of your tongue. When you get it back, I look forward to actions rather than empty words.

      Happy New Year of the Snake to you as well.

      • Michael To Michael To February 11, 2013

        I totally agree with Chris. Mr. Joe Dovinh should have done more to fight against this discrimination. Walking side by side with his wife in this year parade is a big shame for someone who wants to represent the Vietnamese Americans in Little Saigon.

      • Greg Diamond Greg Diamond February 13, 2013

        I’m sorry to see Joe Dovinh take a hit for his wife’s actions — my personal dealings with him have always been good — but I also think that such an outcome was only to be expected and that there is no way to avoid it. If Dina Nguyen cared about her husband’s political future, she might have decided not to put him in such an impossible situation. Of course he will pay a price for it within the Democratic Party; how could it be otherwise? Bigotry hurts everyone, sometimes especially including those closest to the bigot. I take no pleasure in that outcome.

    • Jon Nguyen Jon Nguyen February 10, 2013

      Joe, you think that exclude the group of people because of who they love is right? You and your wife are both FAKES….someone should have thrown rotten eggs at you too today. I hope you will find out your sons and daughters are gay…

      • Chris Prevatt Chris Prevatt Post author | February 10, 2013


        While I understand you obviously do not like Joe or his wife, you seem to be hurling what you think is a slur by wishing their children are gay. There are plenty of parents of gay and lesbian children who will say they are blessings in their lives. They will tell you that there is nothing wrong with a gay or lesbian child. So your attempt to insult Joe and his wife with your comment fails to have any impact. Being gay or lesbian is not an insult to the parents.

        As far as trowing rotten eggs is concerned, I agree with Joe, Tet is not the time for division.

        Happy New Year of the Snake.

        • Jim Benson Jim Benson February 11, 2013

          I have no doubt that Dina and Joe would love their children regardless.

          I and my husband have been treated with the highest level of respect and dignity by both of them.

          My understanding is that the majority of the parade board opposed the inclusion of the GLBT entry based on what they felt was to much public display of affection in a past parade. Since I was not at the event I am not in a position to offer my observation on the past events.

          Perhaps an acceptable agreement could have been reached that would have got a majority to agree to include everyone, perhaps not.

          Some of course would not have voted in favor regardless.

          Perhaps Joe is right and there can be some common ground found in the future to avoid future court fights and unwelcome publicity.

          Neither side can claim any victory in this. Those who would not have voted in favor of inclusion at all, lost because of all the coverage of the parage was about the controversy and the number of other entries that dropped out reduced the possible positive impact of the parade.

          Our school boards, city Council Members and elected officials who withdrew thier support are to be commended.

          I would urge everyone on both sides to agree to sit down and find a way to make next year a success that can include all.

          Understanding and bringing people together is a process and this event was a step backwards. But hopefully a lesson that all can learn from.

      • Asian Nguyen Asian Nguyen February 11, 2013

        Karma plays its role very fair. They did this to their own people so just wait and see what will happen to them.

    • George Zander George Zander February 10, 2013

      The only solution is to let the LGBT contingent walk with everyone else. Simple!!! The sun might shine next year! You know that the LGBT has many powers-including controlling the weather. Beware.

    • Van Truong Phuc Van Truong Phuc February 11, 2013

      Mr Do Vinh, there shoudd have been no question about the participation of the Viet LGBT group in the parade. You as a leader of the community should have taken a stand and made it clear to the parade organizing committee and the community that you stand on the right side of justice. While you claim that you are pro-equality, which is to be discussed, we all know your wife Dina Nguyen is an anti-equality (fill in the blank as you see fit). She has been blatant in her campaingn against homosexuality in all fronts. Now if your wife and you have such an irreconcilable differnce in principle and that she is obstructing justice and obstructing your duty to protect justice and equality for all, I suggest that you reconsider your marriage to her for the sake of your family’s happiness, for the community and humanity as a whole.

  3. Jon Nguyen Jon Nguyen February 10, 2013

    I meant if their own children are gay, what would these bigots do?

    • Chris Prevatt Chris Prevatt Post author | February 10, 2013

      While I know that hope is not a strategy, I would hope that they, particularly Dina, would come to their senses and love them still. I think that Joe is almost there, he just has some bad influences around him.

  4. Vern Vern February 10, 2013

    Gotta speak up for my buddy Diana Carey here, who you feel did not do “enough.” 1, she met with the actual LGBT Viets who wanted to be in the parade – how many politicians can claim that – and did as they suggested. 2, she has actually been on the front lines, in the lions’ den of Westminster City Council these 2-3 months, fighting the bigots – and how many politicians can claim that? I think she’s up at the top with Bao Nguyen as far as which electeds have done the best work here. (But then I also think it takes more guts to show up and make a statement rather than stay home and say nothing, so maybe I’m just CRAZY…)

    The weakest is folks like Loretta and Lou who stayed home and failed to make a statement about why. As Bolsavik points out, Loretta is the most popular politician in Little Saigon. And what did she say to the organizers? In a “written statment,” NOT even a press release (and she puts out like three press releases a week) ““Hopefully the organizing committee can get this resolved soon so that all who would like to participate in the Tet festivities may do so.” Like it’s some kind of simple mixup that needs to get straightened out. VERY weak, very disappointing.

    I have to agree that Solorio took the cake theatrically with his sending his car forward empty. That was brilliant.

    • Chris Prevatt Chris Prevatt Post author | February 11, 2013


      While I agree that Councilwoman Carey has taken steps, a flag is not by any measure a meaningful statement. At best it is a whisper, a nod or a wink. The moment the organizers were denied access this became an issue that extended far beyond themselves as a group. From that point forward, the matter moved far beyond the partnership to a matter of principle regarding LGBT discrimination.

      I am glad that Carey met with the group. I appreciate that she did what the Partnership of Viet LGBT Organizations asked. But none of those things equal a meaningful public statement opposing discrimination. The act of not attending, even silently, is a far more powerful message than carrying a tiny little flag, that was only visible within 50 feet, and only if the flag was turned a certain way.

      All that said, what remains is the need for legislative action at the City Council level to ensure that those seeking permits to use public spaces in Westminster are not allowed to discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (gender), sexual orientation,marital status, national origin (including language use restrictions), ancestry, mental and physical disability, medical condition (cancer/genetic characteristics), age (40 and above), pregnancy, denial of medical and family care leave, or pregnancy disability leave (Government Code sections 12940,12945, 12945.2) and/or retaliation for protesting illegal discrimination related to one of these categories.

      Maybe Councilwoman Carey will be willing to champion this cause in “the lions’ den of Westminster City Council”. that would be a visible act in the fight against discrimination in public accommodations.

      That same challenge should also be taken up by all elected officials, including those who chose to silently not attend the event.

      • Vern Vern February 11, 2013

        Yes, I imagine she WOULD champion that, as would Sergio, and I’d be surprised if they didn’t get a majority. I’ll make sure she sees your suggestion.

        • Greg Diamond Greg Diamond February 13, 2013

          I’ll be making an announcement about that soon. I’ll credit Prevatt appropriately, too.

      • Vern Vern February 25, 2013

        What I’m hearing now is that this suggestion will be taken up next month and probably pass unanimously. Keep your eyes … you know where. On your RSS feed, I suppose.

    • Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski February 11, 2013

      Vern — I diagree with you; Loretta was a staple at this Parade every year and her absence (and Lou’s) made a huge statement.

      • Jim Benson Jim Benson February 11, 2013

        I agree Dan, Loretta and Lou not attending was a huge statement. Next year everyone should be included and if there are restrictions on the activities or dress of parade particapants that could be a acceptable compromise,
        as long as they are applied to all entries equally.

      • Vern Vern February 11, 2013

        “Hopefully the organizing committee can get this resolved soon so that all who would like to participate in the Tet festivities may do so.”

        When we’re talking about banning people on the basis of their sexuality?

        What a low bar some of you have for the politicians you like. I like her too, but that doesn’t clear MY bar for her.

  5. […] before me, and then we had the Partnership of LGBT Organizations speaking about being excluded from Santa Ana’s Tet parade. I ended up revising my set right before I went on to include more love poems. It felt […]

  6. jose s. jose s. February 11, 2013

    Quit calling joe dovinh and that creature that hes married to bigots and call them what they really are: communists. They brought their ass backwards way of thinking with them when they came to this country completely forgetting where they now live and hold political office. The little stunt she and that drunk andy quach pulled at irvine valley college says it all. And prevatt, saying dovinh is being influenced by people around him is letting him off too easy.

    • Greg Diamond Greg Diamond February 13, 2013

      (1) For anyone unfamiliar with this writer, it’s not Solorio. (I’m not happy to have to defend Solorio from such a mistaken impression, but it’s the right thing to do.)

      (2) If you have actual evidence that someone is a communist you had better be prepared to lay it out, you ass, because in Little Saigon that is a personally as well as a politically dangerous accusation, one not to be tossed around lightly.

      • Vern Vern February 25, 2013

        Greg, nobody thinks this is Solorio. This fellow’s been commenting on the local blogosphere for years and years, since before I was here. His name’s Sanchez.

        He often has great points, but one of his eccentricities is his use of the word “communist” by which he seems to mean intolerant conformists.

  7. Howard Be My Name Howard Be My Name February 11, 2013

    It makes more of an impression — and more embarrasses the organizers — to participate in the parade with obvious LGBT-supporting symbols, than it does to boycott. I, for one, am glad Solorio among others, was there and proudly wore anti-discrimination attire. Shame on the old and out-of-step Vietnamese bigots who banned the LGBT groups.

    Vietnamese people need to learn that this is America, not Vietnam. They should learn to be proud Americans, not narrow-minded foreigners! Their anti-LGBT, anti-Latino, and anti-American ideas need to GO!

    Go back to Vietnam if you don’t like it here!

    • Greg Diamond Greg Diamond February 13, 2013

      No, don’t “go back to Vietnam.” Stay here and follow the law.

  8. Mike P Mike P February 11, 2013

    Clearly, Vern Nelson has a crush on Councilwoman Carey and will say about anything to protect her reputation. The fact of the matter is Carey marched in the parade for her self interest. She supported the bigots in Westminster. No wiggle room.

    • Vern Vern February 11, 2013

      Yeah right, weenie. You got it all figured out.

      • Greg Diamond Greg Diamond February 13, 2013

        Who is the jerk to whom you’re responding here? Someone with OCTA?

        • Vern Vern February 25, 2013

          Probably. THEY can’t stand Diana, for good reason.

  9. Craig Scott Craig Scott February 11, 2013

    This is soooo illegal. What a stupid decision.

  10. duy tam duy tam February 11, 2013

    Let us not forget that the 2012 election the young voters’ big turnout has helped President Obama to get reelected. It is an inevitable trend as seen across the country and Orange County is not excluded. The bitter loss of Mr. Van Tran in the 2010 District 47 Congressional rate to Loretta Sanchez, the statistic shows many Vietnamese, with growing number of young voters, mostly registered democrats had voted for Ms. Sanchez instead of Tran, a well known Republican who got strong support from the older Vietnamese in the community.

    The Era of the Republican dominance has come to an end right here in the Vietnamese community as the growth of younger Viets. A recent survey conducted by Nguoi Viet daily news shows close to 60% of Vietnamese support the LGBT to participate in the Tet parade. This is something for Mr. Joe Do Vinh, and his wife Garden Grove councilwoman Dina Nguyen to think about.

    The LGTB, more than ever, has acknowledged that their fight for equality must include more involvements in politic. Sharing very much same principle and vision, the THSV has shown significant impact in the community. Together we see the growing number of young voters that will definitely change the geographical politic in the City of Westminster, Garden Grove, Santa Ana, Fountain valley, Huntington Beach, etc

    I don’t see much of a chance for Dina Nguyen if she runs again. In such small area, she easily would lose a few thousand votes already from the LGBT and the young voters. A better outlook for Vinh Do if he can show stronger leadership and clear stand for the democratic party instead of hiding under the shadow of his well-known anti-gay wife.

    It is nothing wrong about husband and wife having different political point of view, but it is wrong to teach children to discriminate. Mr. Vinh Do, what would you tell your children about the dictatorship of the Interfaith councils, the Tet organizers and the lawyer(s) who defended them to take away a given right of the LGTB? Or would you just tell your children it is okay to discriminate a certain group of people just because your mom say so?

  11. Joe Dovinh Joe Dovinh February 11, 2013

    Hello Everyone,

    First, I would like to thank Chris Prevatt and The Liberal OC for coverage of this year’s Tet Parade controversies and for all the posts surrounding the discussions and debates from all sides of the issue of whether LGBTs should be allowed to have a part in this important event, or not.

    My position has always been and will always be: NO ONE HAS A RIGHT TO DISCRIMINATE. (Although there may be competing first amendment rights issues that need to be resolved in a civil, lawful and democratic manner…)

    LGBT’s equal rights movements as part of a modern-day civil rights movement have made major, milestone accomplishments nationwide but have met with resistance and resentment in some localities. It will take time, dedication and hard work to overcome the remaining obstacles. I truly believe as Chris Prevatt has insinuated: In the end, political courage will win the day.

    Having said that, I don’t believe the organizers of this year’s Tet Parade intended to discriminate, but their decision to exclude LGBT from participating left many to feel that they are anti-LGBT. This is understandable, and it is up to the organizers to explain their decision, to clear the confusion, and to make amends so that future events DO NOT EXCLUDE.

    While I am neither an advocate for LGBT causes nor am I an apologist for the Tet Parade organizers, I stand on principles and I don’t pander to voters (of any creed or color) just to get votes or to get them to agree with me. (Perhaps that’s why I haven’t been elected). I speak from the heart, I don’t hide under a rock, (I’ve taken it the face just by sticking my neck out and voice my opinions on this controversy…) and I don’t tell others how to think or what to do. I believe that everyone is capable of acting on their own moral conscience without being bashed and badgered,(or bribed and babysat).

    Lastly, I appreciate all those who took the time to critique me. I feel every word you write in my gut. But I am happy that we have this open dialogue instead of shouting at each other. I think we have all contributed to the efforts to make our community a better place to live in and we have crossed some bridges, but there will be more bridges to cross before we can truly celebrate.

    My apologies for not effecting the process in a more positive direction this year. Of course, we all could’ve done more but we shouldn’t kick ourselves too hard. Despite this year’s exclusion, we can all look forward to constructive compromises next year and beyond. I hope that LGBTs would themselves become organizers of future Tet Parades, apply for permit with Westminster City as a coalition of organizations to avoid the unfortunate situation wherein only a few groups dominate and decide.

    Sincerely Yours,
    Joe Dovinh

    • Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski February 11, 2013

      Joe — perhaps you missed the court hearing; there was intent to discriminate. Shame on you for standing on the side with those who would exclude.

    • Vern Vern February 12, 2013

      Joe, you couldn’t even have stopped and gave a little support to the gay contingent? You couldn’t even have held a rainbow flag (the barest minimum) as you walked with Dina? It really sounds like you’re telling us what you think we want to hear over here, and doing other things over there.

    • Greg Diamond Greg Diamond February 13, 2013

      Joe — I don’t judge your heart. I don’t know what it would be like to be married to a politician with such different views than mine. But, without rancor, I cannot blame anyone for judging your actions in not taking what I’m sure would have been a personally difficult step to distance yourself from your wife’s actions. If it had been my wife favoring discrimination, I would not have walked with her in that parade. I’m sorry that you did so.

  12. Vern Vern February 12, 2013

    Meanwhile, let’s all relish the spectacle of Pedroza, supposed defender of gays, finding his inner prude and backing the organizers when Pulido told him he was attending the parade … and then Pulido changing his mind and leaving Art holding the ‘phobe bag!

    To defend the gays’ exclusion, Art made such strong arguments as the fact that a couple of them kissed three years ago, and, most importantly, that Chris Prevatt only got 6% of the vote in some race 11 years ago. Powerful stuff!

  13. Jim Benson Jim Benson February 12, 2013

    Next year all that agree to a set standard of what can and cannot be done in the parade must be allowed to particapate regardless.

    Who ever is organizing it, they need to set a clear set of standards for allowable designs, dress, actions and signage that apply equally to all entries.

    The 4th of July Parade in Huntington Beach has a list of standards that all applicants agree to adhere by. Applicants that fail to abide by these may be excluded for a limited time one or two years or as I have witnessed the promoters come to the entry and on the spot have the problem addressed.

    Once an entry agrees to the preset conditions for the parade then the application is approved.

    As an organizer of the Democratic Party Entry into the Huntington beach Parade I can tell you that we cannot promote candidates, the theme has to somewhat fit with the parade and those who march are required within reason to keep clothing somewhat consistance for the entry and approprate for the General Public.

    While this system does not make everyone happy or allow everyone to do what they want, it works year after year.

    Perhaps Whoever organizes next years Tet Festival should just go get a copy of what Huntington Beach does, modify it to fit the event and get on with life.

    • Chris Prevatt Chris Prevatt Post author | February 12, 2013

      Sorry to put you on the spot Jim, but what are your feelings regarding Mr. Dovinh’s failure to even acknowledge the demonstrators in support of the Viet LGBT Organizations. His participation, with out any recognition of the issue of blatant LGBT discrimination is inexcusable from my perspective. What is yours?

    • Vern Vern February 12, 2013

      Still keeping up the subterfuge that this isn’t simply about excluding gay people because they’re gay and proud. This must be painful for you, Jim.

      • Jim Benson Jim Benson February 12, 2013

        Each person has to put thier family first is my belief.

        Even when I disagree with my husband which is often I would not publically go against him.

        I can understand Joe walking with his wife, knowing both of them, I do know that they have different view points on many public policy issues.

        I wish that Joe had found a way to do both.

        I have however found both Dina and Joe to be friends that I can count on in my private life and business.

        • Vern Vern February 12, 2013

          I wasn’t talking about Joe. I was reacting to your last comment above, “set standards of behavior” yada yada.

          • Jim Benson Jim Benson February 12, 2013

            Yes I understand, I was just pointing out the other annual Parades have set standards, different standards for different Parades. A Gay pride parade is going to be a lot different than a 4th of July Parade or a Tet Parade.

            I am going to act different and wear different attire to each of these. I might even decide to wear a g string to a pride parade and make an unplanned apperance in court pictures in the future, not that anyone would want to see that. LOL

            I think that part of problem with the Tet Parade this year especially, was that three weeks before the event the City announced they could not afford to sponsor it.

            This allowed a group that decided wrongly to exclude the GLBT entry to be in control.

            Next year I think the city has to exclude giving the permit to the interfaith Council, because the law prohibits the city from discrimination in any form under California law.

            Giving this group another permit would expose the city to possible litigation if the same decisions were repeated. If it is not already exposed by the current groups actions.

            The city must make this a provision in the future permits that groups cannot be excluded or begin some proceedure, like helping to create a board like Huntington Beach has to oversee the annual event in future years.

  14. Ignore Pedroza Into Irrelevance Ignore Pedroza Into Irrelevance February 12, 2013

    My feeling is that by even mentioning that cretin is simply enabling him further (hits to his blog by people curious as to what putrid and ill-informed opinions passed off as facts he has to offer, feeding his need to belong and be relevant to any conversation, etc.). If we ignore Pedroza, hopefully whatever ad revenue or income stream he receives from his blogs will dry up, force him to get a day job that prevents him from blogging at all odd hours of the day. That is my hope, anyway.

    I, for one, will do my part from this point forward.

  15. HIEU Tran HIEU Tran February 12, 2013

    Clearly the dispute over the Over participation in the Tet parade is between the old and young generation. It is understandable for the older Vietnamese to have such difficult time to earn and accept that homosexuality is always existent, what surprised me the most is Ms. Dina Nguyen, who came to the USA at a very young age and she is still relatively young (late 30s?), her attitude against gay is even more aggressive than any older Vietnamese. Her comments about gay are negative, nasty and hurtful. It makes me wonder how could it be? I M sure she has friends who are gay. Maybe she is older than I thought or she wants to please the older Vietnamese, majority republican, for her political advance.
    Talking about “older” generation, I believe they are not that narrow minded. It may take time for them to understand about homosexuality but over time the truth will prevail. Having said that we know there are people will never change their minds (those are the ones who make the most noise and hold the entire community hostage).they will never accept gay even it is scientific proven. I hope Dina Nguyen is not one of them. I hope VINH do will educate her or perhaps some days their children would when they grow up.

    • Jim Benson Jim Benson February 12, 2013


      You seem to be a great leader who understands the dymanics within the community very well.

      If there is anything you think I could do to help make future events more inclusive let me know.

      I can be reached at Just put TET parade in the subject line. I check that email once or twice a week.

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