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Vietnam removes ban on same sex marriage

Friday, June 20, 2014, 14:27 GMT+7
Vietnam removes ban on same sex marriage
This file photo shows Nguyen Hai Yen (R) and H., two homosexuals, who have been waiting for the amended Law on Marriage and Family to recognize same sex marriage.

The National Assembly’s Thursday session saw the passing of the amended Law on Marriage and Family, which neither bans nor recognizes same sex marriage in Vietnam.

Tran Thi Kha, standing commissioner of the Commission on Social Issues, elaborated that the new law has removed the ban on same-sex marriage, but does not recognize the practice.

According to statistics, Vietnam now has about 1.65 million homosexuals between the ages of 15 and 59, accounting for about three percent of the population.

The Standing Committee of the National Assembly also collected lawmakers’ opinions on surrogate pregnancy for humanitarian reasons.

Over 59 percent, or 237 out of 401 delegates, approved of the proposed regulation, while 39.9 percent, or 160 delegates, disapproved of it.

The new law will take effect on January 1, 2015.

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US supports resolution of East Vietnam Sea disputes via peaceful measures: Senator McCain

Washington supports resolving disputes in the East Vietnam Sea through peaceful measures based on international law, visiting Senator John McCain, chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services, told his host in Hanoi. Senator McCain made the statement during his talks with General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong on Wednesday, as he led a delegation of U.S. senators on a visit to the Southeast Asian country, according to the Vietnam News Agency. The senator also directed special attention at recent developments in the East Vietnam Sea in particular and the issue of security, safety and freedom of navigation and aviation in the region in general. He affirmed that Washington backs the settlement of any disputes by peaceful diplomatic measures on the basis of respect for international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Relations between Vietnam and the U.S. have become increasingly warm, especially since the two countries set up a comprehensive partnership in 2013, the senator told his host, adding that the U.S. wishes to strengthen all-around cooperation with Vietnam. Senator McCain and the other U.S. delegates said they look forward to the Vietnamese Party chief’s visit to Washington D.C. and pledged to try their best to achieve positive results from the visit. Party General Secretary Trong told his guests that Vietnam always attaches importance to its relations with the U.S. for the long-term interest of both countries and peoples. The Vietnamese leader also said Hanoi will continue to pursue an external policy of independence, cooperation and development toward creating favorable conditions for its national construction and defense, and contributing to peace, stability, development and prosperity in the region and the world. He also underlined Vietnam’s consistent stance on protecting national sovereignty and territorial integrity by peaceful measures in line with the United Nations Charter and international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS, the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Vietnam Sea (DOC) and striving for a Code of Conduct for the sea (COC). Vietnam opposes all actions that defy international law, break the status quo and threaten peace, security and stability in the region, the Vietnamese leader said. He also highlighted Washington’s cooperation in addressing war consequences in Vietnam and called on the U.S. Congress, Government and Senator McCain himself to strive to heal the war wounds and promote mutual trust, thereby creating a foundation for the development of bilateral ties between Vietnam and the U.S.

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