Cuba activists push for same-sex marriage

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A torrential downpour was passing over the Cuban capital on May 11 when Violeta Cardoso and her partner of 32 years, Isabel Pacheco, arrived at a coffee shop in the Vedado neighborhood.

The women soon began to speak passionately about LGBTI-specific issues with Juana Mora and Lidia Romero of Acepto, a group that advocates for marriage rights for same-sex couples in Cuba. It was sweltering inside the coffee shop because of a power outage, but the women nevertheless spoke with each other for more than an hour as they drank iced tea and coffee.

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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 to push for marriage, LGBTQ rights in Cuba

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Mariela Castro, daughter of former Cuban President Raúl Castro, leads an LGBTQ march through Havana on May 13, 2017. She told reporters on May 4, 2018, that she and her organization, the National Center for Sexual Education, will push for marriage and other rights for LGBTQ Cubans in the country’s National Assembly. Washington Blade photo by Michael Key.

The daughter of former Cuban President Raúl Castro on Friday said her organization plans to submit proposals to the country’s National Assembly that would extend marriage and other rights to LGBTQ Cubans.

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Gay Cuban journalists detained while covering hurricane preparations

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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ABOVE: Carlos Alejandro Rodríguez (L) and Maykel González on the roof of their apartment building in Sagua la Grande, Cuba, in 2015. Rodríguez and González said they were detained on Sept. 6, 2017, after they tried to interview a local official about Hurricane Irma preparations.(Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

Two gay Cuban journalists said authorities detained them on Wednesday as they covered Hurricane Irma preparations

CiberCuba, a news website that operates independently of the Cuban government, reported Carlos Alejandro Rodríguez and his partner, Maykel González, were reporting for Periodismo de Barrio, an affiliated online outlet, in the city of Sagua la Grande when the reported incident took place.

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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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Mariela Castro: Father is ‘supportive’ of pro-LGBT efforts

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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The daughter of Cuban President Raúl Castro says her father supports her efforts to spearhead LGBT-specific issues in the country.

“He understands,” Mariela Castro told Hatzel Vela, a Havana-based reporter for the South Florida television station WPLG. “He is supportive.”

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Mariela Castro: Marriage does not stop hate crimes

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, Courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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The daughter of Cuban President Raúl Castro on Saturday said hate crimes remain a problem in countries that have extended marriage rights to same-sex couples.

EFE reported Mariela Castro, who directs Cuba’s National Center for Sexual Education that is known by the Spanish acronym CENESEX, made the comments in the Mexican city of Guadalajara after organizers of a film festival honored her for her work to promote LGBT-specific issues on the Communist island. The Spanish news agency said hate crimes were among the topics about which she specifically spoke.

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Fidel Castro is dead, will LGBT Cubans now gain more civil rights?

By : Wire Report
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HAVANA (AP) — He overthrew a strongman, brought his country free health care and education, and enlisted Cubans in what he called fights for freedom from Central America to South Africa. Fidel Castro also maintained a steel grip at home, jailing dissidents and gays, controlling freedom of travel and expression and declaring virtually any activity outside his control to be illegitimate.

Since the revolutionary’s death Friday night, Cubans have defended Castro’s record while human rights groups said they hoped that his brother and successor, Raul Castro, would move faster toward allowing Cubans more freedom of speech, assembly and other basic rights.

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Castro’s daughter sponsors blessing of Cuban gay couples

By : Wire Report
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HAVANA (AP) – The daughter of Cuban President Raul Castro sponsored a blessing ceremony May 9 for gay couples on an island where gay marriage remains illegal.

Nearly two dozen gay couples held hands or embraced, some crying, as Protestant clergymen from the U.S. and Canada blessed them as part of official ceremonies leading up to the Global Day against Homophobia on May 17.

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Mariela Castro casts first ‘no’ vote in Cuban parliament history

By : Wire Report
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HAVANA (AP) – Yet another revolutionary tradition has been broken in Cuba: A lawmaker voted “no” in parliament.

And it wasn’t just any lawmaker.

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