Cuban lawmaker: Activists ‘paid’ to organize unsanctioned LGBTI march

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A Cuban lawmaker on Saturday suggested independent activists were “paid” to organize an unsanctioned LGBTI march that took place in Havana last week.

“It’s not only religious groups, but also these so-called activists are often times paid to hold this type of event,” said Luis Ángel Adán Roble in response to questions from the Washington Blade during a panel at an LGBTQ Victory Institute conference that is taking place in the Colombian capital of Bogotá. “I am not saying that everyone who went to it were paid or anything.”

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Cleve Jones ‘dismayed’ by arrests at LGBTI march in Havana

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Cleve Jones marching at the National Equality March in 2009. (Photo by Gil Goldstein via Wikimedia Commons)

Cleve Jones said May 14 he is “dismayed” by the arrest of several people during an unsanctioned LGBTI march that took place in Havana over the weekend.

Jones, who is based in San Francisco, and Rainbow World Fund Executive Director Jeff Cotter in a statement said they “are saddened by the” Cuban government’s decision to cancel two International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia marches that were scheduled to take place in Havana and the city of Camagüey “due to pressure from anti-LGBTQ fundamentalist Christians who oppose the significant advancements that LGBTQ people have made in Cuban society.”

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Cuban LGBTQ rights groups hold unauthorized march in Havana

By : Wire Report
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HAVANA (AP) | LGBTQ-rights activists organizing on social media held an unauthorized march May 11 down eight blocks of one of Havana’s main thoroughfares before they were stopped by police.

The march was the second by a non-governmental organization in Cuba in slightly more than a month. That’s highly unusual in a country where the only legal civil society groups are de facto arms of the Communist government. Any sort of unofficial march or demonstration has long been met with a swift and overwhelming police response.

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Cuba blocks DC LGBT reporter from entering country

By : Staff Reports OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Cuban authorities on May 8 refused to allow Washington Blade International News Editor Michael K. Lavers to enter the country.

Lavers arrived at Havana’s José Marti International Airport on an American Airlines flight from Miami shortly before noon EST.

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Cuba begins distributing PrEP through pilot program

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The Cuban government has begun to distribute PrEP through a pilot program that began last month.

Granma, the official newspaper of the Cuban Communist Party, last week reported 28 people in Cárdenas, a city in Matanzas province that is roughly 90 miles east of Havana, have received PrEP since the program began on March 6.

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Mariela Castro’s group to honor Cleve Jones in Cuba

By : Michael K. Lavers Of The Washington Blade, Courtesy Of The National LGBT Media Association
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An organization the daughter of former Cuban President Raúl Castro directs will honor LGBTI rights activist Cleve Jones in Havana in May.

The Rainbow World Fund, a San Francisco-based organization that describes itself as “the world’s first and only all-volunteer, LGBTQ-based humanitarian aid organization,” on March 26 said in a press release that Cuba’s National Center for Sexual Education will honor Jones on May 10 during a gala at Havana’s Karl Marx Theater. The press release also notes Jones has been chosen as a grand marshal for a march that will take place in the Cuban capital the following day.

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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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Cuban assembly approves draft of new constitution, paves way for separate referendum on same-sex marriage

By : Wire Report
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HAVANA (AP) | Cuba’s National Assembly approved an update of the country’s constitution Dec. 22, the final step before a national referendum expected to approve the new charter in February.

The new constitution contains more continuity than change, although it recognizes the de-facto modernization of Cuban society over the last decade. The constitution maintains Cuba as a centrally planned economy ruled by a single Communist Party, but recognizes private property for the first time and paves the way for a separate referendum on legalizing same-sex marriage.

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Marriage amendment removed from new Cuba constitution

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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HAVANA | The Cuban government on Dec. 18 announced the draft of the country’s new constitution will not contain an amendment that would have extended marriage rights to same-sex couples.

Hatzel Vela, a Havana-based reporter for WPLG, a South Florida television station, reported the Cuban National Assembly cited Council of State Secretary Homero Acosta Álvarez in a series of tweets that explained the decision.

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Taiwan marriage activists receive support from Evan Wolfson, HRC

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The founder of Freedom to Marry and two of his former colleagues are working with same-sex marriage activists in Taiwan ahead of next month’s referendum on the issue.

Evan Wolfson, Cameron Tolle and Thalia Zepatos are working with the Marriage Equality Coalition Taiwan, an organization that is campaigning in support of marriage rights for same-sex couples on the island.

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Cuban president backs same-sex marriage

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel has said he supports an amendment to his country’s new constitution that would extend marriage rights to same-sex couples.

“I defend that there should be no type of discrimination,” he told Telesur, a television station that is largely funded by the Venezuelan government, during an interview that aired on Sunday. “The will of the people and the people’s sovereignty will have the final word.”

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