Over the years, Vietnam has gained a rather poor track record when it comes to human rights issues. USA Today notes, “Vietnamese bloggers, folk singers and journalists are behind bars for deeds and words that in many countries are considered birthright freedoms.” Conditions didn’t appear to be getting any better. In fact, within the first few months of 2013, more Vietnamese citizens were convicted in political trials than all of last year.
Because of their history with human rights issues, we were all pleasantly surprised to discover that Vietnam could be the first Asian country with marriage equality. In what feels like a complete turn-around, Vietnam’s National Assembly has agreed to begin debate on legalizing same-sex marriage. The LGBT movement in Vietnam truly took on its voice within the college campuses. Within recent years, a number of student organizations fought to endorse marriage equality.
While we do not know the final verdict of this debate, we can all agree that this is most certainly a large step for Vietnam and quite the progressive step for the Asian community as a whole.
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