Castro's Daughter Stages Mass Gay Wedding for Cuban Pride

Although it is not necessarily a wedding per se, Cuba is getting one hell of a fabulous ceremony. In an event spearheaded by Cuban President Raul Castro’s daughter, Mariela Castro, there will be a mass ‘gay wedding’ staged during their upcoming annual Gay Pride Parade. Mariela, who is a member of Cuba’s National Assembly, hopes that this event will lead to more being done in future years to gain rights for those in the LGBT community, a stance that she has staunchly maintained despite the less than vocal opinions on the subject by her father Raul.

Cuba has had a long standing history with the LGBT community. In 1959, former President Fidel Castro sent gay people to labor camps. It wasn’t until 2010 that Castro apologized for his actions by coming forth and saying it was wrong of him to discriminate. Ever since then, many have made efforts to bring forth equality to the LGBT community in Cuba. Free sex-change operations were approved by the government for those who qualified in 2008. In 2012, Adela Hernandez, who is transgender, became the first LGBT person in Cuba to win a seat in office. The most recent of changes came about in 2013 when a labor law was approved to stop discrimination based on sexual orientation. Castro voted against the law because it did not include a ban on discrimination based on gender identity.

While gay marriage is not legalized in Cuba, activists hope this symbolic event shows the push for change. In addition to marriage rights, many hope to end transgender discrimination as well. Like many countries, there is much to still be done in the fight for equality with the LGBT community. While a mass wedding may seem a nontraditional form of political commentary, Cuban activists certainly know how to drum up support. Who doesn’t love a big, gay wedding?

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