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Cuba Cancels Annual March Against Homophobia

Cuba Cancels Annual March Against Homophobia

Cuba Cancels Annual March Against Homophobia

Some fear the government is caving to evangelical extremists.


Cuba has gone ahead and canceled its annual march against homophobia.

The cancelation of the Conga Against Homophobia was announced on Tuesday by Center for Sex Education (CENESEX), which is a state-run group headed by Mariela Castro, a prominent LGBT rights activist in Cuba. The group reported the Ministry of Health as responsible for the decision.

“There will not be a Conga Cubana against Homophobia and Transphobia this year, because of certain circumstances that are not helpful to its success,” the group said in a vague statement.

They also cited “new tensions in the international and regional context that directly and indirectly affect our country and have tangible and intangible impacts in the normal development of our daily life and the implementation of the policies of the Cuban state.”

However, an anonymous source claimed that the true reason for canceling the event was “to avoid confrontation with Christian groups.”

While the conga is canceled, a number of other events celebrating Cuba’s LGBTQ community will continue on as planned.

“It’s a government decision,” CENESEX coordinator Malú Cano said. “It’s nothing against us. Otherwise they would have suspended all of our activities.”

Cuba was previously set to ratify a new constitution that would define marriage in a gender neutral way, effectively legalizing same-sex marriage, but the wording was removed late last year. 

And this latest decision feels like just another slight to Cuba's LGBTQ community.

"The enemies of a more diverse and progressive Cuba will be happier now," activist Norge Espinosa Mendoza wrote on Facebook. "Not allowing [the parade] is a signal that... we are not welcome."

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