63 pct of LGBT persons tell poll they suffer discrimination

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Sixty-three percent of around 2,500 lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) persons recently polled in Vietnam said they had been discriminated against, a Tuesday conference was told.


Nguyen Thu Nam from the Ministry of Health released the information at a conference held by iSEE (Institute for Studies of Society, Economy and Environment) and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) in Hanoi.


Nam said a 2012 study by the ministry revealed 63 percent of the polled LGBT persons said they were either scorned, teased, scolded or beaten by non-LGBT persons.


The study also revealed that 61 percent of LGBT persons wanted to have children, but their wish had been hindered by social prejudice and the fact that Vietnamese laws have yet to allow same sex marriage. The laws also state that a couple must be legally married in order to adopt a child.


Sixty percent of homosexual persons who married straight persons said they were forced to do so by their families. The rest said they did so to fulfill their filial duty for their parents and fulfill their own wish of having children.


Notably, 52 percent of them divorce afterwards.


Statistics at discussed at the conference showed that there are an estimated 1.65 million LGBT persons in Vietnam.

In July last year, the Ministry of Justice began discussing the legalization of same-sex marriages. Though no concrete measures have been taken so far, the Ministry of Justice started gathering public opinion on this issue while considering amendments to prevailing marriage laws.


Vietnam has recently scrapped regulations that fine same-sex couples who marry in what activists say is a move towards guaranteeing the rights of the LGBT community.


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