Gay protesters targeting Saturday’s Tet Festival parade, in Westminster


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Gay Viet protesters will be at the Tet Festival tomorrow!

I never knew that there was an active homosexual movement in the Viet community, but I received an email today from a group that is planning to protest at the Tet Festival parade, which will be held on Saturday, February 13, 2010 at 9:30 a.m., on Bolsa Ave. between Magnolia and Bushard, in Little Saigon.

Apparently an organization called the Vietnamese Interfaith Council has been upset at these folks because they want to march in the Tet Parade.

The Bolsavik blog reported that Garden Grove Councilwoman Dina Nguyen said she “doesn’t believe in homosexuality.”

Even worse, the Catholic representative on the council, Rev. Si Nguyen, said that he would be willing to acknowledge gay people, but not during Tet.

Said Nguyen, “During Tet, we don’t bring up ugly matters, anything unseemly in the family we hide it away, we only bring out what’s good.” He calls on “all the faithful” to stay away from Bolsa Avenue during the parade.

The irony is that this year’s Tet Festival has adopted the slogan, “The Spring of Love.”

What is the big deal?  Let them march!  I plan to be there to take pictures and we will be posting those pictures here on the Orange Juice and on our sister blog, New Santa Ana.

Here is the protest information:

EMERGENCY COUNTER-PROTEST RALLY TOMORROW MORNING

Sat., Feb 13 @ 9AM in Little Saigon (Westminster), to support the LGBT Vietnamese Community

Please join The Center OC in supporting the LGBT Vietnamese community in their first ever march in the Westminster Tết Festival Parade, that is being opposed by several groups protesting their participation.

Several groups scheduled to march in the parade are planning to boycott the presence of the LGBT groups in the parade and they along with the religious right (Knights of Columbus, etc.) have mobilized against them with press releases, demonstrations, etc. We urgently need your support!

Meeting Location: Intersection of Bolsa and Magnolia Streets, Westminster, California.  (Look for our banners: Sống Thật Radio, Ô-Môi and Gay Vietnamese Alliance)  [Midway between 22 and I-405 fwys. Exit I-405 at Magnolia, drive North about 1.5 miles.

Saturday, February 13, 2010 @ 9:00 am

[Parade Time: 9:30am to 10:30am on Bolsa Ave., between Magnolia & Bushard Streets]

Come early because parking is likely to be troublesome (but, when did that ever stop us!).

Contacts: Thanh Do (Gay Vietnamese Alliance): (408) 718-7647
Vuong Nguyen (Sống Thật Radio): (408) 476-3977
Gina Masequesmay (Ô-Môi): (818) 677-7219
Quynh Anh (VLBWN&F): (408) 623-6513

Following is their verbal request to Ginger Hahn, Exec. Dir. of The Center OC

1. Get clergy and spiritual leaders there tomorrow, and to write in today. So far the media has only heard from those who would like to see us disappear.
2. Get PFLAG there. They sweetly said they would like to invite PFLAG parents to be the guests in their mock wedding of two same sex couples.
3. Get other community support.
Following is the written request from the organizers:
1) For the religious progressives to write into OC Register and other local Vietnamese newspapers to counter the hate that is coming from the Vietnamese Interfaith Council.
2) We can only have 25 people marching so please stand on the side to cheer us on and protect us from the boos.
3) Please note that we want a peaceful march and to let love overcome hate. Not even shouting back of profanity because those people are looking for a reason to kick us off now and in the future.
4) Bring a camera to take pictures, especially if violence happens. The Police assured us that they will be there to protect us.

Below is their Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 6, 2010

Press Release Contact: Thanh Do, (408) 718-7647 or thanhis@yahoo.com

History in the Making: Vietnamese-American Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Organizations to March for the First Time in Westminster Tết Festival to Increase Community Awareness about the Needed Love & Support for All and about Marriage Equality

Westminster , CA – Press Release

On Saturday, February 13, 2010, from 9:30 am to 10:30 a.m., the Partnership of Vietnamese Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Organizations will join forces to march in the Annual Westminster Tết Parade. For the first time ever in the history of the Westminster Tết Parade, Vietnamese LGBT people are joining in the parade.

Under the theme of “Coming out from Northern to Southern California for Marriage Equality and Family Support,” The Partnership of Vietnamese Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Organizations is marching in unity to demonstrate that there is a thriving Vietnamese Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community in California. This Partnership wants to promote acceptance and inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the mainstream Vietnamese community. This Partnership is composed of Sống Thật Radio, Gay Vietnamese Alliance, Ô-Môi, and Vietnamese Lesbian and Bisexual Network and Friends.

Following the banner which reads “Support same-sex marriage: Equality for ALL” will be a same-sex wedding to increase community awareness and to urge the community to support same-sex marriage and marriage equality because lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, like everyone else, deserve the right to have access to marriage, to form a family, and preserve a long lasting relationship.

Sống Thật Radio is a grass roots organization which has the task of operating a radio program to enhance community awareness of LGBT issues, with the aim to create social change in attitude towards LGBT people and to organize social and political events that advocate, support and empower the Vietnamese-American LGBT community by increasing LGBT visibility and inclusiveness. Our goal is to improve the quality of life of Vietnamese LGBT people by reducing and eliminating the disparities within the Vietnamese-American community in dealing with LGBT issues.

Ô-Môi is a support group for lesbians, bisexual women, and transgender of Vietnamese descent. Our goal is to provide a support and resource space for queer, female Vietnamese to come out and network.

Gay Vietnamese Alliance provides a safe and supportive environment for gay, bisexual, and transgendered men of Vietnamese descent from all over the world to network, voice issues, promote wellness and foster leadership.

The Vietnamese Lesbian and Bisexual Network and Friends is a support network of women, young and old alike, who provide support to Vietnamese women who are questioning their identities or simply proud to be Lesbians or Bisexual women.

In our ongoing efforts to strengthen partnerships with the mainstream Vietnamese and American society, we welcome open dialogue with the media and other community partners.

To join us in the march, we will be meeting at:

Time: 9:00 am


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