Today marked a great victory and the promise for substantial future progress for our gay brothers and lesbian sisters living in Cuba.
‘s gay community celebrated unprecedented openness — and high-ranking political alliances — with a government-backed campaign against homophobia on Saturday.
“Cuban state television gave prime-time play Friday to the U.S. film “,” which tells the story of two cowboys who conceal their homosexual affair.
“Prejudice against homosexuals remains deeply rooted in Cuban society, but the government has steadily moved away from the Puritanism of the 1960s and 1970s, when homosexuals hid their sexuality for fear of being ridiculed, fired from work or even imprisoned.
“Now Cuba’s parliament is studying proposals to legalize same-sex unions and give gay couples the benefits that people in traditional marriages enjoy.
“Parliament head Ricardo Alarcon said the government needs to do more to promote gay rights, but said many Cubans still need to be convinced.”
The significance of this move from a political perspective should not be overlooked. There is not a single Latin American country that recognizes same-sex marriages due to the high religiosity of the Latin American culture.
Thus, when we look at the recent good moves on this file in Cuba in concert with the multiple attempts by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to make Venezuela the first country on the face of the planet to explicitly recognize same-sex marriages in the text of the constitution, it is clear that socialism, when done right, is a way forward for everyone.
There’s still a lot of work to be done throughout Latin America for the GLBT community, and we should especially make sure not to let the governments — even allied socialist governments — guide the agenda. But, I think, there is very good reason for optimism given these developments.