Bil Browning

Cuba's 'Pride Parade'

Filed By Bil Browning | July 03, 2011 9:15 AM | comments

Filed in: You Gotta See This
Tags: Cuba, Fidel Castro, LGBT Rights Observatory, pride parade

Members of Cuba's LGBT Rights Observatory march down a Havana street for Pride. The group couldn't call the event a "march" because it would require a police permit. The official LGBT organization is run by Fidel Castro's daughter who claims that pride parades aren't needed in the country because gays and lesbians are equal and a parade would be considered an anti-government protest.

(Hat tip to Queerty)

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Om Kalthoum | July 3, 2011 9:07 PM

That was one silent "parade." I bet it took a lot of courage, despite what the State may claim about equality.

Also, I believe the person you are referring to is Mariela Castro Espín, the daughter of Raúl Castro, and the niece of Fidel.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | July 4, 2011 4:36 AM

No one can accuse the Cubans of lacking courage. Fidel, Che and many others led a movement that defeated what US corporations, the government and the US military thought of as a wholly owned subsidiary of the American Empire.

They did it again when the gusanos tried to invade at the bay of pigs and have done it for decades.

LGBT Cubans have a long struggle ahead of them because Raul Castro Ruz is a Stalinist of the old school and was a member of the PSP, the Cuban Stalinist party that followed the Moscow ‘line’ before the Revolution. He was probably a key factor in promoting the regimes homophobia.

Peter Tatchell explains “When Cuba adopted Soviet-style communism it also adopted Soviet-style prejudice and puritanism. Ever since Stalin promoted the ideology of “the socialist family” and recriminalized gay sex in 1934, communist orthodoxy dictated that homosexuality was a “bourgeois decadence” and “capitalist degeneration”.

That repression, but not the homophobia, ended during the 1970?s. It still has echoes in Cuban law that will have to be repealed before any real progress can be made. We have to demand that the government and the CCP launch an education campaign against homophobia and admit their own guilt in pandering to it.

They’ll have to establish clear legal guidelines for total emancipation and repeal several anti-gay laws, among them Article 299: “pederastia con violencia”. It makes illegal an undefined offence that includes consensual sex and mandates penalties of from eight years imprisonment to death. Another, Article 303a: “importune a otro con requerimientos homosexuales,” or creating a “public scandal” prohibits public touching, fondling, kissing and cruising.

These laws are similar to bigoted laws on the books in the EU and the US and that are hardly to the credit of a state or party that aims to be liberators and leaders. They need to be repealed and be replaced by a new policy that emphasizes total acceptance of our rights.