Cubans overwhelmingly approve country’s new constitution

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Cuban voters on Feb. 24 overwhelmingly approved the draft of their country’s new constitution.

Maykel González Vivero, co-founder of Tremenda Nota, an independent online magazine that is the Washington Blade’s media partner on the Communist island, reported 86.85 percent of Cubans who participated in Sunday’s referendum voted for the new constitution. Official results indicate 9 percent of voters voted against it, but González reported this figure may be higher because of abstentions or ballots that were either left blank or thrown out.

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Removal of marriage from new Cuba constitution divides LGBTI community

By : Laura Rodríguez Fuentes OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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SANTA CLARA, Cuba | The LGBTI+ community remains divided after the National Assembly modified the marriage amendment in the draft of the new constitution. Part of it defends the yes vote and supports the official campaign, while another group says it will vote against the constitution.

On Saturday, Dec. 22, the same day the Cuban Parliament in Havana ended sessions where changes to the draft Cuban constitution were approved, a group of young people discussed them in Vidal Park in Santa Clara, 300 kilometers from the Cuban capital.

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Colombia mother fights bullying after gay son dies by suicide

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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BOGOTÁ, Colombia — Alba Lucía Reyes Arenas beams with pride when she talks about her son, Sergio Urrego.

She told the Washington Blade on Sept. 24 during an interview in the Colombian capital of Bogotá that he liked opera from “an early age” and he read his first book, “The Neverending Story,” when he was around 6 years old. Reyes said her son was an atheist who enjoyed art and politics.

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Cuban YouTubers document LGBTI life, issues

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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SAGUA LA GRANDE, Cuba — A growing number of Cuban internet users are using YouTube to document LGBTI life and issues on the Communist island.

Nelson Julio Álvarez Mairata, who lives in Sagua la Grande, a small city on Cuba’s north central coast that is located roughly three hours east of Havana, launched his YouTube channel, Nexy J Show, in 2016.

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Ros-Lehtinen talks retirement, slams Trump’s military trans ban

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Letinen (R-Fla.) speaks with the Washington Blade at her office on Capitol Hill on May 21. Washington Blade photo by Michael Key.

Retiring U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) last week reiterated her criticism of President Trump over a host of issues that includes his effort to ban transgender people from the military.

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Daniela Vega takes part in Havana LGBTI march

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Daniela Vega on May 12, 2018, participated in a march in Havana that commemorated the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. Photo courtesy Sony Pictures Classics.

HAVANA — The transgender actress who starred in “A Fantastic Woman” on Saturday participated in a march that commemorated the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia in Havana.

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Mariela Castro leads LGBT march in Havana

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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HAVANA — The daughter of Cuban President Raúl Castro on Saturday led a march through the Cuban capital that commemorated the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.

Mariela Castro, who directs Cuba’s National Center for Sexual Education that is known by the Spanish acronym CENESEX, and more than 2,000 people marched from the Havana’s oceanfront to a pavilion that is near the Habana Libre hotel in the Vedado neighborhood.

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