Cuba’s draft constitution opens path to gay marriage

Source: Reuters

BY Sarah Marsh

HAVANA (Reuters) – The draft of Cuba’s new constitution opens the path to same-sex marriage, a government official said on Saturday, which would make the country that once persecuted homosexuals an unlikely leader in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights.

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In the early years of Fidel Castro’s 1959 revolution, many homosexuals were sent to correctional labor camps, part of an institutionalized homophobia for which Castro later apologized.

Yet Communist-run Cuba has made great strides over the past decade on LGBT rights, approving sex-change operations and banning workplace discrimination, partly thanks to the high-profile advocacy of Castro’s niece Mariela Castro.

Proposals to recognize same-sex unions had stalled in view of the slow legislative process and lingering stigma in the macho society.

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