Three days before pride celebrations took place in Cuba this weekend, a group of gay activists presented a list of demands to lawmakers.
On Thursday, roughly 50 people brought a petition to the National Assembly of People’s Power, asking the government to comply with international human rights laws as it has agreed to do. Activists also staged a kiss-in at a local sports arena.
In addition to calls for the government to investigate employment discrimination claims, “The petition also calls on lawmakers to launch an investigation of the Military Units to Aid Production, or UMAPs — hard-labor camps created by Fidel Castro during the 1960s to detain homosexuals and government critics — and requests trials for government officials responsible for the camps,” the Herald reports.
The Pride march on Sunday will be organized by the Cuban League Against AIDS, the Open Door Foundation and LGBT Observatory, three groups that are independent of the National Center for Sex Education (CENESEX) run by Mariela Castro, daughter of President Raúl Castro. The younger Castro has successfully lobbied her father’s government to cover gender reassignment surgery and is calling for marriage equality, but a recent visit to the United States generated opposition from Cuban-Americans outraged by the country’s overall human rights record.
We always have to remember that pride is about more than rainbows and parades - it’s about rights, too!