Los campos de concentración de Castro
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Politburo member backs gay marriage in Cuba

Politburo member backs gay marriage in Cuba
11th February 2008 14:20
PinkNews.co.uk staff writer

A leading Cuban politician has welcomed proposals to allow gay men and
lesbian marriage rights, as the country continues to discuss its future
direction.

The poor health of Fidel Castro, who has led the country as a one-party
state since 1959, has sparked a renewed national debate in the only
Communist country in the Caribbean.

The revered leader's brother Raul Castro, who is acting President,
invited Cubans to speak out without fear, and among complains about
taxes and restrictions on foreign travel and internet access the issue
of gay rights has come to the fore.

The Cuban culture minister Abel Preito supports gay marrige.

"I think that marriage between lesbians, between homosexuals can be
perfectly approved and that in Cuba that wouldn't cause an earthquake or
anything like that," said Mr Prieto, who is also a member of the
powerful Politburo of the Communist party and the Council of State, the
nation's supreme governing body.

Last month Mariela Castro, who is the daughter of acting President Raul
Castro and niece of Fidel, revealed that the Cuban Communist party is
considering granting legal recognition to same-sex unions, as health
officials prepare to authorise sex-change operations.

The proposed change to Cuban family law would put members of same-sex
unions on a par with heterosexual couples.

The principal needs of Cuban homosexuals "are related to the right to
their recognition as consensual couples, as non-matrimonial couples, but
that authorities recognise their property and inheritance rights in
those non-legalised unions," she said.

"That is their principal interest. They are not interested in marriage,
they are not interested in adoption, because in Cuba there are hardly
any children to adopt."

She added that besides legal recognition, gays, lesbians and
transsexuals in Cuba want respect.

"Let no one feel the right to humiliate them, nor harm them, nor exclude
or reject them, that we strengthen within the family this ethic of
accepting everyone and of not being discriminated against for sexual
orientation."

The Public Health Ministry in Cuba is currently in the process of
approving regulations that would allow sex-change operations.

Mariela Castro said that a team of Cuban physicians is already in
training to perform such procedures.

In an interview with EFE last August, the 45-year-old psychologist said
her struggle for the equality of the sexes and gay rights would "enrich
the Cuban Revolution."

But she added that the task is not an easy one in a "patriarchal"
society where many remember the UMAP labour camps where homosexuals and
the ideologically suspect were interned in the late 1960s.

http://www.pinknews.co.uk/news/articles/2005-6818.html

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