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Vietnam Media Call Homosexuality "Social Evil," Vow Crackdown

April 19, 2002

Vietnam's state-run media recently declared homosexuality a "social evil" on par with drug use and prostitution and proposed laws to allow the arrest of gay couples. A report by the Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs said the number of gay couples is on the rise, though it offered no statistics. The government reported that homosexuals have infiltrated the tourism, restaurant and karaoke bar industries and that their "eccentric behavior" went hand in hand with prostitution, drug use and HIV/AIDS. Complaining that there are no laws against homosexuality in Vietnam, the newspaper concluded, "Everyone is now waiting for a legal framework to fight this social evil." Vietnam has repeatedly linked prostitution, drug use and gambling together as "social evils."

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