Cuba: Lesbians Marry With Government Blessing
Two women were symbolically married in Cuba last week in the courtyard of a Government Ministry. It is not the first gay marriage in Cuba, but the first to receive high-level State support and publicity.
The issue is a bold move by the Havana authorities, as there still remains quite a bit of social unease with homosexuality in Cuba. When I was in Cuba I was amazed by the scenes of hundreds of gays openly partying and making out in public deep into the night. It was a far cry from the repression I was warned about before visiting. Still, I cringed when a cab driver used the "M" word when describing the scene.
As IPS reports:
A proposal for legal reform advocated by the National Centre for Sex Education (CENESEX) and the Cuban Women’s Federation calls for the recognition of de facto unions between same-sex couples and equal rights for heterosexual and homosexual couples, as well as eligibility to adopt children and, for women, access to assisted fertilisation services.
The legal machinery is already rolling and the initiative may reach parliament in 2008, but no one can predict how long it will take to come to a vote. Meanwhile, CENESEX was advised by the ruling Communist Party to make efforts to prepare the public through a media campaign.
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