WESTMINSTER (CBS/AP) — Gay activists are fighting to be included in a Vietnamese New Year’s parade in Westminster.
KNX 1070’s Mike Landa reports the Westminster City Council will consider Wednesday whether to grant a permit for the Feb. 2 parade.
“The goal of the Tet [Festival] is to celebrate family, to celebrate community and to celebrate unity, and that is why we want to participate,” said Hieu Nguyen, the founder of Viet Rainbow of Orange County.
Nguyen says he started Viet Rainbow after the Vietnamese American Federation of Southern California, the Tet Festival’s organizer, did not allow LGBT members to march in this past year’s parade.
“The Vietnamese American Federation of Southern California made a statement saying that LGBT is not part of the Vietnamese culture,” Nguyen said.
Nguyen says LGBT members have marched in past parades when the city ran the festival. That came to an end this year, however, after the city transferred control of the event to the Vietnamese American Federation due to budget cuts.
“We hope to sit down and work on some fair and just compromise,” Nguyen said.
The vice president of the Vietnamese American Federation of Southern California told KCAL9’s Rachel Kim via phone that the parade is a private event paid for by sponsors. He says they have the freedom to accept or deny requests. He added that they want to promote Vietnamese traditions and customs.
“We can have a debate about whether this is a private or public event, but it’s actually a community event,” Nguyen said. “[I hope they do] not give a permit to an organization that is non-inclusive and that has a history of discrimination.”
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