Cuban authorities have refused to include questions about Cubans’ sexual orientation or transgender status and about same-sex relationships despite calls from a prominent LGBT activist who is now calling on LGBTs to mark themselves in even though Cuba’s National Bureau of Statistics and Information will not count them.
Activist and blogger Francisco Rodriguez wrote that his lobbying of the Bureau to collect information on LGBTs had fallen on deaf ears, despite campaigning on the issue since November last year.
‘I therefore call on all homosexuals, bisexuals and transsexuals to make themselves known to Census enumerators,’ Rodriguez wrote.
‘Homosexual people living together have the right to declare their consensual unions to enumerators and ask to enroll as a couple in the census questionnaire, although their statistics will not be counted by the Bureau.
‘For gays and lesbians in committed relationships with a partner who does not live in your home, you have the right to ask the enumerators to not record you as single, but "united" with another person of the same sex.
‘Transgender people are entitled to file as a woman or man, according to their preferred gender identity, even when their sexual organs do not correspond, and ask for that to be recorded in the census questionnaire. Their answers cannot be questioned by enumerators … and they need not show any identification document to support the information they provide.’
Rodriguez also proposed that LGBT Cubans display the rainbow flag outside their homes, in protest at the Bureau’s decision not to count them, from September 15 until they had been visited by census enumerators.
The Cuban national census will take place between September 15 and 24 this year.
Cuba has made great strides in recent years thanks to the work of Mariela Castro, director of the Cuban National Sex Education Centre CENESEX and daughter of President Raul Castro.
Mariela Castro has suggested that the Government may introduce civil unions later this year but in the meantime Cuban LGBTs lack legal recognition of their relationships and some have become frustrated with the pace of reform.