The Republic of Vietnam is considering the legalization of Gay Marriage. If it is legalized, Vietnam would become the first country in Asia to recognize same sex unions.
The name Vietnam conjures up, to someone of my generation, scenes of destruction, of pouring rain and mud, of dead and dying young Americans, of napalm and of battles in the streets of New York, Chicago and San Francisco.
It brings to mind the scenes of a country tearing itself apart because its people couldn't agree upon how best to remain true to its principles.
Is was Vietnam where it first became apparent that we weren't the "good guys" by default but that we had to earn that label every day, with every action and with every decision.
In our arrogance we imagined we would bring democracy, freedom and equality to the rest of the world whether they wanted it or not. Vietnam is hardly a bastion of liberty, but, should it grant gays equal rights in terms of marriage, our old enemy will move to the hilltop while we remain mired in the muck of bigotry and intolerance.
That would be an absolutely humiliating situation.