Victory in Orange County! After prohibiting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from participating in last year's Tet parade, the Vietnamese American Federation of Southern California voted this weekend to allow LGBT organizations to march in this year's upcoming festivities.
LGBT Orgs Cleared to March in 2014 Tet Parade
On Saturday, federation members voted 51-36 to allow LGBT organizations to take part in the 2014 Tet Festival in Westminster, scheduled for February 1. The vote comes after an earlier vote, held last year, barring the organizations from the 2014 festival. The re-vote was scheduled following a meeting between federation leadership and community members last month.
Supporters are calling the decision historic:
"When there's a vote to include or exclude, it makes me sad. But we have always been fighting for inclusion and equality -- and we knew that inclusion and equality will eventually triumph," said Hieu Nguyen, founder of Viet Rainbow of Orange County. The group formed after last year's battles with the Vietnamese American Federation of Southern California, the organization leading the charge against visible LGBT participation.It's a huge step for this community celebration, with a true, renewed meaning for "community."
Last November, federation members voted against LGBT participation for 2014. But at a City Council meeting in December in Westminster -- where the parade will be held -- federation head Nghia X. Nguyen agreed to meet with gay leaders to try to find a compromise for inclusion.
Nguyen later organized a community assembly, inviting dozens of representatives to cast their ballots Saturday. With 97 votes collected, among them 10 abstentions, the result proved a win for activists.
More here: O.C. Tet parade won't ban gays, community decides
UPDATE: Before your celebrations get out of hand, it's been pointed out to me that while LGBT organizations have been allowed to take part in the Tet Parade, their inclusion could come with restrictions: Orange County LGBT groups hopeful but skeptical after vote to include them in Tet parade