Could Cuba allow same-sex unions before the US?
Duane Wells | February 25, 2008
Is Cuba beginning to look more socially progressive than the US? Based upon a recent developments in the communist stronghold, there are those who might argue that its starting to look that way.
America may not only be losing ground economically to China, India and Russia, we may well be losing ground socially to the world at large as US attitudes towards gay rights and gay marriage more clearly appear to lag behind those of what were once widely considered to be the most staunchly homophobic countries on the planet.
While socially progressive European countries including the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden have all provided for legal recognition of same-sex unions in the new millennium, America, ‘the leader of the free world,’ is the only Western country that appears to moving in the opposite direction by trying to enact a constitutional amendment denying same-sex couples the right to marry.
This comes as little surprise given that since its founding America has ironically found tolerance a rather hard pill to swallow.
However what is surprising is that countries like South Africa and Argentina have been able to make such great strides in terms of recognizing the rights of same-sex couples despite their history of discrimination and prejudice against the same. Now comes the even more shocking news that communist Cuba, a country where gays were once upon a time rounded up and sent to work camps away from the general population, may recognize same-sex unions before the US.
Not only does Cuba have a leading advocate of gay rights in Mariela Castro, niece of Fidel Castro, daughter of his brother, acting President Raul Castro*, and head of the Cuban National Center for Sex Education, the country’s National Assembly has in its president Ruben Alarcon a powerful voice publicly raised in support of redefining the concept of marriage to embrace same-sex couples.
And just this past week, the Cuban culture minister Abel Preito, a member of the powerful Politburo of the Communist party and the Council of State, the nation's supreme governing body, gave public support to gay marriage, saying:
"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," according to Pink News.
Cuba’s Health Ministry is also reportedly in the process of approving regulations to allow for gender reassignment surgeries.
Fidel Castro’s resignation along with Cuba’s steadfast shift in a direction that invites broad recognition of human rights, may, at this rate, well take the wind out of the moral sails that the U.S. the has waged against Cuba for the last several decades.
After all, it would be quite hard to take the moral high ground against a country that could arguably be perceived to be more tolerant than our own, would it not? – Issued by Gay Link Content
San Francisco queer group headed for Cuba
*Cuba's Fidel Castro has now ceded power to his brother Raul