LGBT rights in Cuba: ”Yes to socialism, no to homophobia!”

Quick update on what’s going on in Cuba right now:

-celebration of about 1000 people in Havana who stand up against homophobia
– the meeting is organized by Raul Castro’s daughter Mariela Castro Espin who is a known sexologist in the country

Vice article on the situation:

”This year marked Cuba’s eighth annual LGBT pride parade, and hundreds came out against homophobia, demanding “workplaces that are free from discrimination due to sexual orientation or gender identity,” and equal marriage rights.

But the highlight of Saturday’s parade for many spectators — some holding signs that read, “Yes tosocialism, No to homophobia” — was a series of mock weddings held in downtown Havana, complete with priests who blessed the crowd.
(…)

A group of more than 50 Protestant students formed a conga line led by Mariela Castro. Together with colorfully dressed dancers from across the gender spectrum, they marched through the city to celebrate diversity and tolerance.

Yet, despite increasing support for the LGBT movement in Cuba, the national assemblywoman has been unable to influence a redefining of the Cuban Family Code, which does not currently recognize the right to same-sex marriage. 

Cuba has, however, made strides in recent years toward a broader definition of what constitutes a union between partners. In 2011, Cuba celebrated its first legally recognizednon-traditional marriage, after a post-op transgender male was legally recognized as female and allowed to wed her partner, a homosexual male.

“We have demonstrated that our project is not impossible,” Mariela Castro said on Saturday to droves of supporters. “If I were a lesbian or transgender, this [work] would be much more difficult. The fact that I’m heterosexual allows me to reach heterosexual people.”

She did, however, acknowledge that among her beneficial traits, “being able to talk to the president on a random Sunday also helps.”

Castro has been an integral figurehead for the Cuban LGBT community since becoming the director of Cuba’s sexual education center, Cenesex, in 2000. Former Communist leader Fidel Castro spoke out publicly in 2010 on his revolutionary government’s persecution of “ideological deviants” decades before, regretting the role he had played in this “great injustice.”

And many have argued that Mariela is in a privileged position to influence policy, as Raul’s daughter and Fidel’s niece. ”

Read the full article here

Is Cuba changing? It is true that the country and its people is living in a time of transformation.
Often, Cuba is regarded is old-fashioned and ultra conservative, which is not completely true.
Latin America is a pretty Catholic and conservative society which rejects LGBT rights.
Example:
The Atala family vs. Chile

Ms. Atala, citizen of Chile, mother of three girls got a divorce from her husband. She obtained full custody for her girls, but then it turned out that she was lesbian. Ms. Atala started living with her partner and her ex-husband who found out about the situation got very angry. He demanded full custody over his children and a very long court process started.
Ms. Atala lost custody over her kids and because of her homosexuality the Chilean national courts even agreed with her husband. In 2003, the Chilean Juvenile court also granted provisional custody to the father. In 2004, Chile’s supreme court of justice also gave permanent custody to the father.
In 2010 then (!!!) the Latin American court of human rights refused Chile’s ruling and gave custody to Ms. Atala. This was after the mother has been seperated for eight years from her children.

The right to equality and non-discrimination was harmed, as well as the child’s best interest was harmed, as well as the right to family. Also, the right to private life and family life was disregarded.

It is important to note that the LGBT problem is a global issue which needs to be adressed and Cuba is not an exceptional case.

Picture: bbc

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