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Gay rights activists in Cuba to hold symbolic mass same-sex wedding

The event will coincide with Cuba's annual gay pride parade in Havana.

By
Fred Lambert
Mariela Castro, pictured here in 2010 during a gay pride parade in Hamburg, Germany, will lead a symbolic mass gay marriage ceremony in Cuba over the weekend. Photo by Northside/CC/Wikimedia Commons
Mariela Castro, pictured here in 2010 during a gay pride parade in Hamburg, Germany, will lead a symbolic mass gay marriage ceremony in Cuba over the weekend. Photo by Northside/CC/Wikimedia Commons

HAVANA, May 5 (UPI) -- Activists in Cuba plan to hold a symbolic same-sex marriage ceremony this weekend to raise awareness for the rights of the country's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, according to reports.

National Sex Education Center head Mariela Castro, who is a member of Cuba's National Assembly and daughter of President Raul Castro, will lead the event, which coincides with Havana's annual gay pride parade.

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The BBC quoted Castro, a long-time LGBT rights campaigner, as saying she hoped the event could lead to further changes in Cuba, where same-sex marriage in not legal.

"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."

Cuba has over the past decade inched toward acceptance of the LGBT community. In 2010 Fidel Castro said he was wrong for having sent gay people to labor camps after the revolution in 1959, and two years later Cuba elected its first transgender candidate, Adela Hernandez, to public office. Cuba's free healthcare system has since 2007 offered sexual reassignment surgery.

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Marriage in Latin American countries between same-sex couples is legal only in Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina.

Last month Chilean President Michelle Bachelet signed a law allowing same-sex couples to join in civil unions.

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