Cuba’s LGBTQ+ Revolution

by Jack Guy

Nov 21, 2018

© Esben Hansen |

Trends / LGBTQ

For decades Cuba persecuted members of the LGBTQ+ community, sending them to labor camps as punishment for perceived inconformity to revolutionary ideals. However, recent developments suggest the tide is turning toward greater acceptance on the island.

The changing policy toward the LGBTQ+ community is a result of longstanding activism led by Mariela Castro, daughter of Raul Castro and niece of famed revolutionary firebrand Fidel. She took up the cause of improving LGBTQ+ rights, and recent years have seen Fidel apologize for institutionalized homophobia, the approval of sex-change operations on the national health service and a crackdown on discrimination in the workplace.

Now the latest step is a proposal to change the Cuban constitution to accept same-sex marriage. As things stand, politicians are debating the change, and it will eventually be put to a popular vote. Although church groups attacked the proposal, it has some high-profile backers, including current president Miguel Diaz-Canel.

There is no fixed date for the vote and campaigns from both sides are likely to rumble on for awhile, but, if the new constitution is approved, it will convert Cuba into a previously unlikely regional leader in LGBTQ+ rights.



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