Yesterday afternoon, Orange County Superior Court Judge Geoffrey T. Glass ruled against the Viet LGBT Coalition’ s request for an injunction to compel the organizers of the 2013 Tet Parade, the Vietnamese American Federation of Southern California, to allow their participation as a group in this year’s parade. From the outset, I didn’t see much hope in their request being granted. But one thing the suit did was demonstrate the bigotry of the plaintiff’s, and in particular their attorneys, through their outrageous and disgusting arguments. It is one thing to argue a case on the issue of law, it’s another to try to sway a judge with photos of scantily clad men participating in unrelated LGBT Pride parades.
Laura Kanter, Youth Program Director at the Gay and Lesbian Community Services Center of Orange County wrote on her Facebook wall:
Today, in court, it seemed to me that the judge was not pleased to have to rule on the matter. The parade organizers have been incredibly strategic from the beginning. Their lawyer submitted photos of men wearing g-strings from some unknown gay pride parade as evidence as to why the judge should rule in their favor. The judge made a point to say that he was offended, not by the photos, but by the presumption on the part of the parade organizers and their attorney, that he would be. He gave them a hard time before he ruled that by law, he could not issue an injunction in this matter.
If the actions of the attorneys for the Vietnamese American Federation of Southern California weren’t bad enough, who these attorneys are is even worse. Dina Nguyen, is a current member of the Garden Grove City Council, and her colleague on the case, Mark Rosen, is a former Garden Grove City Council Member, and current appointee to the Orange County Vector Control Board Mark Rosen. Dina Nguyen’s participation doesn’t surprise me. She took a similar stance when Vietnamese groups argued against participation of the LGBT contingent in 2010. Mr. Rosen is a surprise. I have known Mark Rosen for more than 12 years and I never had any indication he held anti-LGBT beliefs. Maybe business is slow for him and the money was too good to pass up. But when you lay down with the homophobic dogs, you tend to pick up their fleas.
Because of their participation in this case, and their antics in court, Rosen and Nguyen have officially demonstrated their unfitness for the jobs of public trust that they hold. Their actions demonstrate that they endorse discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. They endorse such discrimination by falsely portraying the Viet LGBT Coalition in the most derogatory way possible to describe the consequences of allowing LGBT participation in an manner that is the exact opposite of the history of the past 3 years.
While it is expected that some members of the LGBT coalition will attempt to participate with other groups, the active participation of these two high profile elected and appointed city officials draws a line that any self respecting elected or appointed official, who claims to support LGBT equality, cannot cross. Any elected or appointed individual who participates in the 2013 Tet parade in Westminster will be forever branded as a supporter of anti-LGBT bigotry and hate.
Ladies and gentlemen, there is no wiggle room here. If, as an elected or appointed official or community leader, you join in this parade, you support the bigotry of a few zealots who would rather stone members of the LGBT community than allow them to participate openly in their own communities.
Here is the Orange County Register story on yesterday’s court proceedings.