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I’ll have more details as the night and tomorrow go by, but I wanted to break the news here first since I’ve written a lot about it since last year – the Vietnamese-American Federation of Southern California, who had overwhelmingly voted last year to exclude the Viet LGBT’s from that Tet Parade (resulting in boycotts and protest and lots of bad publicity for Westminster) and even last month voted by a small margin to continue that exclusion, met this afternoon and *big breath here* reversed themselves!
The vote was 51 for inclusion, 36 against, 10 abstain. Yes, the LGBTs can walk in the Parade. And equality and tolerance take another step forward!
Last I hear, our LGBT friends “still have to review the code of conduct that will apply to all organizations and individuals in the parade.” This must refer to the controversial no public displays of affection rule the LGBT were expected to abide by (because of one notorious photographed same-sex kiss on a float a couple years ago) and on principle they wouldn’t agree to unless it applied to everyone else as well. Good for them.
Wish I would have known about this meeting, I would have reported from there in much more detail. Congratulations though guys and girls.
More details to come! And hip-hip-hooray for the LGBT Viets, and – hell – the 51 Federation members who voted the right way. Diana Lee Carey must be pleased as pie too, she’d been really torn up about this…
Oh… Greg put this one out 15 minutes earlier……..
VROC — the Viet Rainbow of Orange County (Facebook page here) — has announced this afternoon that the organizers of the Tet Parade in Westminster have voted to allow LGBT participation in the city’s annual parade. (The City Council had given the right to put on the parade to the organizers because they were the only entry, but had admonished the organizers in strong terms that they wanted to see inclusion.)
The vote on inclusion came today:
“Voting result, 51 yes, 36 No, 10 abstain. Yes, we can walk in the parade.”
We will have quotes from members of VROC as they become available, but the speed and effectiveness of the change from last year has been stunning to longtime observers of OC LGBT activism. Longtime OC activist Jeff LeTourneau posted the following to his Facebook page:
Breaking News!!!..TET parade organizers change position and vote for full inclusion for VN lgbtq community!!!!!!! What an incredible display of community organizing by VROC and their social justice allies including the Center, DPOC, Los Amigos and the OCLF. Special thanks to Cong. Alan Lowenthal, Jameson Power, and Sergio Contreras!
UPDATE: Some additional reactions from those who have played a role in this victory:
Văn Trường Phúc:
Looking back on what has been going on in the last year with our struggle, we have come far in our quest to promote understanding, and equal treatment of our LGBTQ Vietnamese Americans. At the general assembly today, there were 51 votes to include the Viet LGBTQ, 36 opposing votes and 10 neutral votes. There’s still a lot of work to do to bridge the gap of knowledge deficit. However, things are looking bright for us all as a community.