Gays petition for a place in the Tet parade

THE TET FESTIVAL and parade are celebrations of the Vietnamese Lunar New Year.

By Alexander Strada
Sun Executive Editor

Westminster’s city council is considering adding a non-discrimination clause to city event permit laws after organizers of this year’s Tet Parade, a yearly celebration of the Vietnamese Lunar New Year, excluded LGBT activists from participating.

Despite being barred, the LGBT group received support from local and national organizations after the story broke national news days before the parade.
Many participants in the parade carried rainbow flags in support of the LGBT community, including Westminster Councilwoman Diana Carey, who said she would support the non-discrimination clause.

“No one here on the council supported what took place this past weekend,” said Councilman Sergio Contreras, “We are going to figure out ways it won’t happen in the future. The Westminster I grew up in is about inclusion, it’s about diversity.”

In past years the parade was organized by the city, which has allowed the LGBT community to participate since 2010, despite threats of boycott by the Vietnamese Interfaith Council and other religious groups.
As a result of financial concerns, the city handed the event over to the community. The Vietnamese American Federation stepped in to raise money for the parade. Among its key organizers was the Interfaith Council.

According to the Orange County Register, the new parade organizers said the parade represents Vietnamese culture, and that the LGBT group’s theme “strays and varies” from that of the parade. A judge supported their decision after the LGBT group tried to get an injunction to force organizers to allow them to participate.

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