53% protest gay marriage legalization in Vietnam: study

Only 33.7 percent of the respondents in a survey polling 5,300 Vietnamese people last year on same-sex marriage approve of legalizing it

Homosexuals are seen in a photo of the "The Pink Choice" collection by Vietnamese photographer Nguyen Thanh Hai, aka Maika Elan.

Same-sex marriage will have a long way to go in Vietnam as a survey has shown that more than half of its respondents oppose the legalization of gay marriage, a ban on which was lifted last year by the Vietnamese government which, however, does not recognize it now.

The “Social Perspectives on Same-Sex Marriage” study, that polled over 5,000 Vietnamese people, found that 52.9 percent of the participants do not want same-sex marriage to be legalized while 33.7 percent support it.

Another 8.6 percent said they are hesitant about the legalization and 4.8 percent showed no interest or simply did not express their opinions.

The survey also revealed that 46.7 percent of those polled do not support the idea of gay people living together as wives and husbands. On the other side, 41.2 percent back the cohabitation.

The survey results indicated that 90 percent of the respondents have known about homosexuality, with 62 percent of the participants admitting to being aware of homosexuals living together like wives and husbands.

Thirty percent said they have homosexual friends or relatives.

The research also listed several homosexual couples’ rights that should be protected by law, including adoption, common property ownership, and inheritance.

“The results are worth considering before the National Assembly debates the Marriage and Family Bill in May,” Le Quang Binh, head of iSEE, said. “Lawmakers should take them into account to meet the real demand of homosexuals, bisexuals and transgender people, as well as to gradually move toward the principle of equality in the Vietnamese justice system.”

The findings were released Wednesday by the Institute for Studies of Society, Economy and Environment (iSEE) which carried out the research from May to August last year.

Around 5,300 people aged 18 to 69 from eight cities and provinces participated in the survey, which iSEE said was aimed at learning about people’s perspectives on same-sex marriage to find the differences among their opinions on the issue.

The institute said it will analyze the factors which it believes affect public viewpoints on gay marriage in order to provide more information for lawmakers ahead of their May debate.

Recently, the local LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) community has repeatedly campaigned for same-sex marriage to be legalized against a backdrop that a ban on the kind of marriage was overturned by the Vietnamese government in November last year.

But same-sex marriage is not legal at the moment, according to the local law.


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