Judge Rules Against LGBT Groups Joining Tet Parade

Tet Festival (p)

Westminster's annual Tet parade.

Orange County Superior Court Judge Geoffrey T. Glass Thursday ruled against a coalition of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender groups that want to officially take part in this week's Little Saigon Tet Parade.

Glass refused to grant an injunction against parade organizers requested by the Partnership of Viet Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Organizations.

In an email, Natalie Newton, one of the group's leaders, wrote that they lost on "a matter of a few technicalities."

The group plans to show up at the parade anyway, even though they haven't officially been granted an invitation by parade organizers.

"We will be audience members, AND, for sure, march in the parade with the United Vietnamese Student Association (UVSA), as their guests," Newton wrote in the email.

LGBT groups have participated in the parade since 2010. That year, several religious organizations spoke out against their participation, and two Catholic groups withdrew from the event.

This year, organization of the parade was assumed by Vietnamese community groups after the Westminster City Council cut funding for the parade to help close a $10.4-million budget deficit.

But there have been questions about whether the LGBT community will be included.

The Partnership of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Organizations submitted its application and $100 application fee on Jan. 28.

Parade organizers said they wanted to meet to “discuss their application” but failed to respond to phone calls and emails to schedule a meeting, Newton said.

Ha Huyen Thanh, president of the General Association for the Development of World Martial Arts, told the Vietnamese-language daily Nguoi Viet that his organization had its application accepted immediately.

“We've already participated in this parade three years in a row, so we're not sure what the problem is this year,” Newton said last week. “In terms of representing the community, we’re not convinced that [the organizing board’s] decisions necessarily reflect the whole Vietnamese-American community."


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