In a significant victory for LGBTQ+ rights in Vietnam, the government has proclaimed that being gay, bisexual, or transgender is “not a sickness” and cannot be treated or transformed.
Conversion therapy is now illegal, according to the Ministry of Health, and medical personnel should treat LGBTQ+ people with respect and ensure that they are not subjected to discrimination.
In a message sent to provincial and municipal health departments around the country before it was published on official websites on August 8, the ministry said that being LGBTQ+ was “absolutely not an illness,” meaning that there is no cure for it and that it does not need to be healed.
According to The Guardian, the announcement claimed that Vietnam’s health minister had learned about “cures” for homosexuality being provided in medical settings.
‘It is something that we never thought would have happened, let alone coming from the most trusted source for medical information in Vietnam … I think the impact on queer youth will be very, very evident,’ Vuong told Al Jazeera.