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May 6, 2015

'It will create cultural and ideological enrichment'

The daughter of Cuban President Raul Castro is planning a symbolic mass gay wedding on Saturday (8 May) as part of Havana's annual pride parade.

Mariela Castro, head of the National Sex Education Centre and a member of Cuba's National Assembly, said her father supported gay marriage but it is not yet legal in the country.

'We can't do a wedding, but we wanted to have a very modest celebration of love with some religious leaders,' she said.

'In the future we'll see what more we can do.'

August 20, 2014

Mariela Castro, a member of Cuba’s National Assembly and daughter of President Raul Castro, cast a ‘no’ vote in protest over a new labor code that protects sexual minorities but not transgender people or people with HIV from discrimination

Outspoken Cuban LGBTI rights advocate Mariela Castro has cast a historic ‘no’ vote in Cuba’s National Assembly which experts believe is the first time a dissenting vote has been recorded in the chamber since the Cuban Revolution of 1959.

Mariela, who is the daughter of Cuban President Raul Castro and the niece of revolutionary leader Fidel Castro, cast the vote in December of last year in protest at a new labor code that protects sexual minorities but not transgender people or people with HIV from workplace discrimination.

July 24, 2014

Fidel Castro's niece is well known for her support of the LGBTI community. She was believed to have been on the missing Air Algerie AH5017 flight

Gay rights champion Mariela Castro is alive after she was rumored to be aboard the missing Air Algerie plane.

Ouagadougou Airport claimed the advocate, the niece of former Cuban leader Fidel Castro, was among the 110 passengers on board.

In a statement, it said: ‘Among the passengers of VOL AH5017, there were two EU civil servants of French nationality based in Ouagadougou and Mariela Castro, the niece of Fidel Castro, the former Cuban leader.’

But on Telesur TV, a Latin American channel, Castro went on air to say she was alive and well.

December 23, 2013

Over the weekend the country’s Parliament approved changes to its labor code, including protections against workplace discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation

The Caribbean island of Cuba has reportedly implemented workplace discrimination protections for its LGBTI citizens.

November 27, 2013

As Hannukah begins, here is a countdown of celebrities, politicians, activists and comedians who have the best of both worlds

Hannukah, the eight day Jewish festival, began this week.

Every year Jewish communities around the world commemorate the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem in the 2nd century BCE.

At the time, Syrian King Antioch outlawed Judaism and converted the temple into a place of worship to Greek gods.

His actions sparked a revolt, and the temple was eventually taken back.

Hannukah was instituted to celebrate the success of the revolt.

May 27, 2013

Cuba’s first daughter responds to the ‘hostile’ decision of World Outgames organizers, who revoked their invitation that she be co-chair of the human rights chapter

Mariela Castro, a vocal advocate for LGBT rights in Cuba and niece of former dictator Fidel Castro, has pulled the Cuban team from participating in July’s World Outgames.

According to Mexican sports magazine Esto, Castro said that Outgames organizers revoked their offer to make her co-chair of the human rights chapter for the games, later saying she is only allowed to attend as a speaker.

May 13, 2013

The Cuban government sponsored an anti-homophobia march led by gay rights advocate and daughter of Cuban president Mariela Castro

Fidel Castro’s niece led hundreds of Cubans over the weekend in a march to promote gay rights in the island.

Married mother of three Mariela Castro, daughter to current Cuban leader Raul Castro, led hundreds of marchers through the Cuban capital of Havana shouting ‘Homophobia, no! Socialism, yes!' in a state-sponsored march against homophobia.

May 6, 2013

Mariela Castro wins an award for her groundbreaking LGBT rights advocacy work

Mariela Castro, daughter of Cuban president Raul Castro and niece of former president Fidel Castro, received a US award for her pro gay rights advocacy.

Castro is credited with improving conditions for LGBT Cubans as well as working to introduce marriage equality in Cuba.

May 1, 2013

Mariela Castro had originally been denied visa to travel from NYC

The US State Department has changed course and will now allow the daughter of Cuban leader Raul Castro to travel to Philadelphia this week to accept an award from The Equality Forum for her work on behalf of gay rights.

Mariela Castro, already in the US attending meetings in New York, is prevented as a Cuban diplomat from traveling more than 25 miles from the United Nations without permission.

April 26, 2013

Equaity Forum calls the visa denial 'shocking'

The niece of retired Cuban leader Fidel Castro has been denied a visa by the US State Department to travel to Philadelphia to accept an award for her work on behalf of gay rights.

Mariela Castro, director of Cuba's National Center for Sex Education, is already in the US attending meetings in New York. But Cuban diplomats are prevented from traveling more than 25 miles from the United Nations without permission.

November 17, 2012

Cuba elects transgender woman Adela Hernandez to office in a first for the Caribbean socialist state following local government elections

Cuba has elected its first transgender politician following municipal elections earlier this month.

Adela Hernandez, 48, who has lived as a woman since childhood, was elected as a delegate to the municipal government of Caibarien in the Cuban province of Villa Clara in a vote of 280-170.

September 3, 2012

Cuba will not count same-sex relationships in its 2012 national census despite calls by activists for inclusion

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.

May 24, 2012

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

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).

May 22, 2012

Gay rights activist Mariela Castro has been granted a visa to visit the US, sparking fury among some Cuban-American lawmakers 

Mariela Castro will meet with leaders and members of the LGBT community in San Francisco this week.

The daughter of current president Raul Castro and niece of former president Fidel Castro is scheduled to be interviewed at the San Francisco LGBT Center at 1800 Market Street on Wednesday (23 May) from 6pm to 7:30pm Pacific Time.

May 14, 2012

Mariela Castro urges Barack Obama to put his words of support for gay marriage into action

Cuba's first daughter Mariela Castro led a gay rights march in Havana on Saturday (12 May), reaffirming her support for gay marriage.

During the parade held to mark the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) on 17 May, Castro again hinted that her country would soon legalize same-sex unions and applauded US President Barack Obama's historic backing of gay marriage.

However, the prominent LGBT activist and sexologist urged Obama to put his words into action.

May 11, 2012

Mariela Castro, the daughter of Cuba's president, applauded Obama's message in support of gay marriage.

Cuba's first daughter Mariela Castro has once again voiced her support for legalizing gay marriage.

As early as January 2012, Castro revealed she backed policies by the Cuban government to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Her latest comments follow US President Barack Obama's message supporting gay marriage, making him the first sitting president in US history to do so.

January 18, 2012

Mariela Castro says Cuba will consider legalizing same-sex civil unions.

The daughter of Cuban President Raul Castro says the country’s lawmakers will consider legalising same-sex civil unions this year.

Mariela Castro, who is also the director of the National Sex Education Centre, told Cuba Si that the Cuban Justice Minister, Maria Esther Reus, announced that same-sex unions 'is going to be discussed in the assembly, and is on the agenda for 2012.'