Living in South Florida, there is no end to the debate about the Castros, Cuba, Obama's policy, and what steps are next. One positive Castro news that has been coming out of Cuba is that of the daughter of former Cuban President Raúl Castro and her fight to extend marriage and other rights to LGBT Cubans. On Friday, said her organization plans to submit proposals to the country’s National Assembly that would move forward her work and that of so many others that want to see LGBTQ+ citizens treated equally.
As the Director of the Cuban National Center for Sexual Education (CENESEX), Mariela Castro made elaborated on her organization's plans during a press conference in the Cuban capital. In July, CENESEX will propose amending the Cuban constitution and changing the country’s family and penal codes when the National Assembly meets again.
The timing of the announcement shows that Mariela Castro is not holding back as it comes a handful of days before events in Havana and in the city of Pinar del Río for the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia on May 17th and less than a month after the National Assembly (which she is a member of) chose Miguel Díaz-Canel to succeeded her father Raúl Castro as Cuba’s president.
What is Mariela Castro fighting against? Her family's control of the government and their mistreatment of LGBTQ+ citizens.
More than 25,000 gay men and others deemed unfit for military services were sent to labor camps known by the Spanish acronym UMAP in the years after the 1959 Cuban revolution that brought Raúl Castro’s brother, Fidel Castro, to power. The Cuban government until 1993 forcibly quarantined people with HIV/AIDS in state-run sanitaria.
Cuba in 1979 repealed its sodomy law. Fidel Castro nearly three decades later apologized for the work camps during an interview with a Mexican newspaper.
The Cuban constitution currently defines marriage as between a man and a woman. – washingtonblade.com
If Cuba moves forward it will join neighbors Puerto Rico, Colombia, Argentina, Uruguay and Mexico City as they are the nations in Latin America where same-sex couples can legally marry.
And what about the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in January issued a landmark ruling that recognizes same-sex marriage and transgender rights? (Costa Rica: Pro Marriage Equality Court Ruling to Carry Over to a Total of 20 Nations) It did not apply to Cuba since it is not part of the American Convention on Human Rights.
We always hope that LGBTQ+ rights continue to grow across the globe. With these signs of the Inter-American Court and Mariela Castro's work, the Western Hemisphere is moving forward quickly!
h/t: southfloridagaynews, washintonblade