Stevie Martin | Staff Writer | Wednesday, 6 May 2015

There's A Mass Gay Wedding In Cuba This Weekend - Even Though It's Not Legal

There\\\'s A Mass Gay Wedding In Cuba This Weekend - Even Though It\\\'s Not Legal

The Debrief: Same-sex marriage is still not legally recognised in Cuba - but these celebrations hope to change all that

Some news to warm your cockles: while gay marriage is still not legal in Cuba, gay rights activists are going to host a symbolic mass wedding to coincide with their annual Gay Pride celebrations. 

Led by the daughter of President Raul Castro, Mariela Castro has said she hopes it’ll make a difference – and help change laws in the future. This comes after Cuba’s recent efforts towards LGBT equality in the last few years, with Fidel Castro recently admitting he was wrong to send gay people to labour camps after the 1959 revolution.

As well as this, Cuba has gained its first LGBT seat in office – with Adele Hernandez, who is biologically male, but has lived as a woman since childhood, winning a number of municipal elections. 

It has also been free to change sex, if you qualify, since 2008; and since 2013, discrimination based on sexual orientation has also been banned – so it’s totally baffling why gay marriage still isn’t recognised. Especially since Mariela Castro has said that her father supports same-sex marriage, but that no legislation has been approved as of yet. 

‘We can’t do a wedding, but we wanted to have a very modest celebration of love with some religious leaders,’ she said, of this weekend’s festivities. ‘In the future, we’ll see what more we can do.’ 

One thing that does need to be looked at, though, is the fact that the 2013 law that covers sexual orientation discrimination, doesn’t cover discrimination based on gender identity. Why? ‘There’s a fear that this will tear Cuban society apart,’ said Mariela, who also voted against it, despite feeling like the move would ‘create cultural and ideological enrichment’. 

Cuba still has a way to go before becoming equal, but this delay in recognising same-sex marriage is one step that needs to be taken. A US-based think-tank has already criticised the wait, saying that authorities ‘do not recognise the work of independent, grassroots LGBT rights groups’. 

Hopefully, this weekend’s celebrations will turn ideas into actual legislation. 

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Tags: LGBT