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Ahead Of Gay Pride, Cuban Activists Stage Kiss-In To Pressure Communist Government


LGBT activists in Cuba held a kiss-in yesterday to raise awareness of their continued oppression in the communist nation. They also presented Parliament with a list of demands, including investigations into 60s-era roundups of gay Cubans, laws that respect equality and more police protections against hate crimes.

The action comes just days before Cuba holds its second gay pride and was organized by a group called Project Rainbow, which calls itself an "independent and anti-capitalist LGBT group."

The Miami Herald offers some more details:

"Our document calls on the Cuban government to fully comply with international agreements it has signed on human rights, especially those that apply to LGBT rights," [activist Ignacio] Estrada said after delivering the petition [to Parliament].

The petition also calls on lawmakers to launch an investigation of the Military Units to Aid Production, or UMAPs — hard-labor camps created by Fidel Castro during the 1960s to detain homosexuals and government critics — and requests trials for government officials responsible for the camps.

Activists are also demanding that authorities stop applying the vaguely worded crime of “pre-criminal dangerousness” to gays and instead investigate complaints of those who are beaten or fired from their jobs because of their sexual orientation, Estrada said.

Cuban society has made small steps toward accepting their LGBT comrades — thanks in large part to Mariela Castro, daughter of current president Raul and Fidel's niece — but is still ruled by a macho culture that denigrates and dismisses homosexuality.

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  1. I love knowing what is happening on the LGBT rights front in Latin American countries...Thank you Towleroad!

    Posted by: George F | Jun 29, 2012 10:06:56 AM

  2. If rumors are correct that Raul is bi-sexual if not homosexual with the influence of his daughter ... changes will be made.

    Posted by: RichB in PS | Jun 29, 2012 11:46:32 AM

  3. I predict this Cuban "kiss-in" will be even less effective than such displays are in non-Communist countries. A more feeble form of protest does not exist.

    Posted by: Stuffed Animal | Jun 29, 2012 12:56:18 PM

  4. Well, it hasn't been all doom and gloom in Cuba up til now.

    See Leslie Feinberg's "Rainbow Solidarity in Defense of Cuba" for more on what's really gone on there, not just what the CIA wants you to think.

    Posted by: Daniel | Jun 29, 2012 5:07:20 PM

  5. @ Stuffed Animal, what proof do you have to offer that kiss-ins are effective or non-effective? None. The reality is that publicly kissing in that way is a public coming out - and clearly "coming out" is by far the most potent weapon against our detractors that gay people have. When they know that we're their neighbors, friends, children, aunts, uncles, cousins and parents they are challenged in a way that no rhetoric about equal rights can do

    Posted by: Daniel Berry, NYC | Jun 30, 2012 8:51:01 AM

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