• Green.
  • Legal.
  • Same-sex sexual activity has never been addressed in Vietnam’s criminal code.

Is there anti-discrimination legislation in place?

  • Red.
  • No protection.
  • There was an important step forward in 2006 when the government enacted legislation that gave anti-discrimination protection to people living HIV or AIDS.

Is there marriage equality?

  • Red.
  • No equality.
  • There has however been some progress on this front in recent years. The country’s constitution used to define marriage as being between a man and a woman, however in 2013 that provision was repealed. In 2015, legislation came into effect that same-sex marriages could be performed, however no legal recognition or protection would follow. These appear to be important stepping stones to full legal recognition of same-sex relationships and marriage equality.

What’s it like for LGBTI who live there?

  • Amber.
  • Same-sex relations are generally considered taboo within Vietnamese society, awareness and acceptance has been improving in recent years.
  • Vietnam’s first gay pride event was held in Hanoi in 2012.
  • Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City both have gay scenes, but gay venues still keep a low profile.
  • Most gay Vietnamese have to hide their sexuality from their families and friends and a lot of stigma remains.

What’s it like for LGBTI who visit?

  • Green.
  • A relatively easy place to visit for gay travellers.
  • You shouldn’t have any dramas checking into hotels as a same-sex couple.
  • Be cautious about public displays of affection — culturally it’s not something that Vietnamese people do (gay or straight).

Overall rating and comments

  • Amber.
  • A good place to visit and an improving situation for local people.

How you can help

  • Find ways to help publicise the stories and experiences of LGBTI people in Vietnam.
  • Time your visit to Hanoi with the annual Pride celebrations (in 2016 these were held in August). Help fly the flag for LGBTI visibility in Vietnam.
  • Use your networks to raise awareness of the improving situation for LGBTI people in Vietnam, and the work that still needs to be done.