Castro’s daughter calls for end to gay hate during US visit

Cuban first daughter Mariela Castro says world must tackle homophobia before society can advance

Castro’s daughter calls for end to gay hate during US visit
24 May 2012

Cuba’s first daughter Mariela Castro told a forum in the US we can’t advance as a society unless we tackle homophobia.

The daughter of Cuban President Raul Castro made the comments during an address to about 50 medical professionals and transgender advocates at San Francisco General Hospital yesterday (23 May).

‘If we don’t change our patriarchal and homophobic culture…we cannot advance as a new society, and that’s what we want, the power of emancipation through socialism,’ she said, reported The Associated Press.

She added: ‘We will establish relationships on the basis of social justice and social equality…It seems like a Utopia, but we can change it.’

The prominent LGBT activist and sexologist is also chairing a panel on sexual diversity at the Latin American Studies Association International Congress, taking place 23 to 26 May in San Francisco.

However, her visit to the US, though of an academic nature, has ignited outrage from some politicians, with Cuban-American Senator Robert Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, slamming the decision to grant her a visa and calling Mariela Castro ‘a vociferous advocate of the regime and opponent of democracy’.

Castro has long-been an advocate of sexual rights in Cuba. She has praised Obama’s endorsement of marriage equality and spearheaded Cuba’s gay-rights campaign associated with International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) on 17 May. 

She was instrumental in the passing of a 2008 law in Cuba that allowed free sex-change surgeries into the island’s universal healthcare policies.

As the director of the Cuban National Center for Sex Education (CENESEX) in Havana, Castro campaigns for effective AIDS prevention and the acceptance of homosexuality, bisexuality, transvestitism and transsexualism human rights.

Though CENESEX presumably receives state funding, Mariela Castro has no official link to the Communist government. It is not know whether she is a member of the Communist Party.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

19 year old kicked out of Boy Scouts of America after 10 years of service

A 19 year old Eagle Scout in Kearney, Missouri, has been kicked out of the Boy Scouts and sacked from his summer camp job after he came out as gay despite ten years of service to the organization
No thumbnail available

Spanish lawmaker blames trillion dollar national debt on gay spending

People’s Party senator Luz Elena Sanín is facing calls for her resignation after she blamed Spain’s $1.3 trillion national debt on previous Socialist governments’ ‘subsidies for NGOs and homosexuals’
No thumbnail available

Australian trans man to take annulment of marriage to wife to United Nations

Paige Phoenix has had his marriage to his wife annulled by the Victorian state government despite his passport saying he is male and living as a man for seven years but he hopes the United Nations Human Rights Committee will find in his favor
No thumbnail available

Christopher Meloni on getting hit on by gay men at the gym and having TV's best butt

'You're doing your thing and you're washing and you can feel the energy'
No thumbnail available

UKIP politician who blamed floods on gay marriage refuses to resign

David Silvester, who blamed Britain's recent floods on gay marriage, has refused to apologize or step down as town councilor
No thumbnail available

Grab a GSN tote bag at Pride in London this weekend – designed by Sir Ian McKellen

Some will contain a LateRooms.com golden ticket – which could win you a holiday to Barcelona!
No thumbnail available

Russian gay teen film premiere fails to get shut down by police

Children 404, a documentary about the online support group that gives LGBTI teens hope in Russia, was accused of 'gay propaganda'
No thumbnail available

Obama campaign blasts Paul Ryan for gay rights record

After Mitt Romney picked Paul Ryan as his vice president nominee, the Democrats have been quick to point out the conservative economist's faults
Gay icon Patti LuPone snatches phone out of audience member's hand during performance

Gay icon Patti LuPone snatches phone out of audience member's hand during performance

'We work hard on stage to create a world that is being totally destroyed by a few, rude, self-absorbed and inconsiderate audience members'
No thumbnail available