Mekong Delta family fined for holding gay wedding

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Authorities in the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang have fined a family for holding a public celebration of their son's marriage to another man.

The authorities fined the family VND200,000 (US$9.6) for "holding a same-sex wedding ceremony."

The event directly violates the Law on Marriage and Family, according to Lam Le Oanh, chairwoman of the Binh San Ward People's Committee in Ha Tien Town who spoke with reporters from VnExpress.

The law expressly prescribes the above-mentioned administrative fine, Oan was quoted as saying.

On the morning of May 16, Truong Van Hen, 22, and Nguyen Hoang Bao Quoc (age not known) of Ha Tien exchanged wedding vows in a ceremony attended by their parents and hundreds of guests.

Hen was the bride and Quoc was the groom.

Truong Van Hac, Hen's father, said Hen - his fourth child - exhibited many feminine characteristics as a kid.

After finishing the 11th grader, Hen moved to Ho Chi Minh City to study dance. 

There, he met Quoc.

The pair moved in to live together and Hen returned to his hometown to ask his parents for permission to marry Quoc.

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His parents told him he should celebrate the wedding ceremony like a birthday party to avoid the curious eyes of neighbors.

However, Quoc's parents insisted on organizing a wedding ceremony that followed traditional rituals.

Hac agreed and more than 100 guests were invited to the event, including the bride and groom's parents, friends and relatives.

Thousands of onlookers gathered in front of Hen's house where the wedding took place to watch the couple cut cake and sip champagne.

The onlookers stopped traffic along Phuong Thanh Street in Binh San Ward.

That afternoon, Hac (Hen's father) was summoned to the office of Binh San Ward People's Committee, where he was ordered to stop the wedding celebration, which was still ongoing.

The ward's leaders also ordered Hen (the bride) to leave the wedding to prevent more crowds from gathering and exacerbating traffic.

Hac signed a paper pledging not to hold another same-sex wedding ceremony but he asked to continue the party, explaining that he did not want his guests to leave.

His request was accepted.

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