domingo, 21 de julio de 2013

Independent March in Front of the Capitol Demands Gay Marriage

Independent March in Front of the Capitol Demands Gay Marriage /
Lilianne Ruiz
Posted on July 20, 2013

HAVANA, Cuba, July 2nd 2013, Lilianne Ruiz / — In
concurrence with Gay Pride Day, celebrated worldwide every 28th of June,
a dozen activists marched past the Capitol last Saturday, led by Leannes
Imbert Acosta, director of the LGBT community's Rights Observatory.
Afterwards, they continued the march towards the Paseo del Prado,
carrying the rainbow flag.

At this event, the protesters wore slogans supporting marriage between
persons of the same sex. Imbert Acosta had this to say:

"This year the march brings up the topic of marriage between persons of
the same sex. We are announcing the beginning of a campaign to collect
at least ten thousand signatures, in order to later present a legal
initiative before the National Assembly of Popular Power to grant the
right to enter into matrimony to same-sex couples."

The LGBT Observatory of Cuba since 2011 has called for the march around
Gay Pride Day, not only for people in the LGBT community, but also for
any citizen who identifies with the cause of ending discrimination on
basis of sexual orientation. Regarding this and other rights, Imbert
Acosta stated:

"What we are asking for is not the right to be gays or lesbians… We
demand that, being gays and lesbians, the State and society recognize
the totality of our rights. One does not lose one's religious dimension,
nor political, nor legal personality by expressing a homosexual
orientation. Sexuality is one human dimension, just as are all the
others. Historically we have been discriminated against for cultural,
religious, and political reasons. Nonetheless, a homosexual person must
also have the right to share in culture, religion, and politics, as well
as enter into matrimony, in the same way and for the same reasons as
would a heterosexual couple."

Asked about the role of the CENESEX official (National Center of Sexual
Education) in this sense, Acosta comments:

"Mariela Castro, daughter of the Cuban president, serves more as a
government spokesperson to the LGBT community than as a representative
of the LGBT community to the government. It is a means of maintaining
control. Hence many times the title of political group stigmatizes us
because we are not in agreement with the Center that she directs.
Nevertheless, we have tried to build bridges for dialogue and they are
the ones who have refused, alleging that we visit diplomatic offices, to
which we respond that Mrs. Castro also does the same. We have talked
with transsexuals who are affiliated with the center and they tell us
that they recognize that CENESEX does not authentically represent the
interests of the LGBT community, but they allege that they need their
operation (surgical sex change).

"On the other hand, Mrs. Castro does call on the march for World Day
Against Homophobia to dance the conga with slogans in support of
socialism, which as we all know is the political system which her family
heads. So, she is making a political campaign with the interests of the

Mariela Castro is currently deputy of the National Assembly of Popular
Power. She has expressed on multiple occasions that CENESEX already put
forth a draft bill before the National Assembly, "But," comments Imbert
Acosta, "in every case, it only contemplates civil recognition, not
marriage as such. And that is another of the matters that we wish to
clarify today. At the least, we, the non-officially allied LGBT
activists of the island and many members of the community, want
marriage, not just a civil union law which would leave us where we are
situated, in a situation of disadvantage in matters of rights compared
to heterosexuals."

Although it is true that the authorities have not intervened directly
against the protesters, it is known that they have made warnings to
possible participants to keep them from marching.

A police warning can discourage many in a country with iron control by
the State.

By Lilianne Ruiz

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Translated by Russell Conner

6 July 2013

Source: "Independent March in Front of the Capitol Demands Gay Marriage
/ Lilianne Ruiz | Translating Cuba" -

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