Revolution For Gays In Cuba
Mariela Castro, 45, daughter of current President Raul Castro and the niece of former leader Fidel Castro, has a degree in psychology and has campaigned for greater awareness for sexual minorities in Cuba for many years.
She is currently attempting to get the Cuban National Assembly to adopt what would be among the most liberal gay and transsexual rights law in Latin America.
(Havana) Cuban lawmakers will vote in June on a bill that would make the country one of the world’s most progressive in LGBT civil rights.
The draft legislation would make it illegal to discriminate in jobs and housing against gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transpeople. It would recognize same-sex domestic partnerships, although not grant marriage or adoption rights, and it would allow transsexuals to have identity cards showing their true sex. In addition the bill would require the government health service to pay for sex reassignment surgery.
The proposed legislation would recognise same-sex unions, along with inheritance rights. It would also give transsexuals the right to free sex-change operations and allow them to switch the gender on their ID cards, with or without surgery.
“A lot of homosexual couples asked me to not risk delaying getting the law passed by insisting on the word marriage,” Mariela Castro said.
“In Cuba marriage is not as important as the family and at least this way we can guarantee the personal and inheritance rights of homosexuals and transsexuals.”
She says that her father is supportive of her work, although he advises her to move slowly.
“I’ve seen changes in my father since I was a child. I saw him as macho and homophobic. But as I have grown and changed as a person, so I have seen him change.”
Mariela’s mother, the late Vilma Espin, was an internationally recognised champion of women’s rights.
Talking to people in the street, many said that they disapproved of homosexuals but felt that people should be free to live their own lives.
Mariela Castro? SHE may be the troublemaking, free-spirited rebel of the family, but Mariela Castro is seen by some as the future of Cuban socialism.
Despite Ms. Castro’s pedigree in Cuba’s most famous family, however, no one seems to hold his — or her — tongue around her. While her father is known for his strait-laced bearing, Ms. Castro has a more down-to-earth air. A mother of three who is married to an Italian photographer, she speaks of topics that might make others blush.
“Sexuality does not just have a reproductive function,” she declared in an interview on the front porch of a Havana mansion, where the center is located, noting that sex is also about love and pleasure and discovery and experiment. “Human beings are much more diverse than we think.”
Isn’t it amazing that historically suppressive countries are coming out of the closet. Cuba of all places, has been quietly inching toward an open minded society. Mariela’s recent headlines make US antiquated homophobic laws look absolutely medieval. Phobias are prevalent in America’s triple standard society. Homophobia is one of the most damaging.
The do as I say but not as I do mentality has made America neurotic.
Social and sexual confusion abounds when the common reasons for discrimination and hate crimes is revealed to have false premises. People denying or suppressing their genetic condition, for the sake of conforming to a false norm has made America mentally unstable. The consequences of living a contradiction is demonstrated daily in the headlines describing sex crimes. Sexually, socially suppressed nations are the most dysfunctional in the World. Look at America’s contradictions every day in news headlines.