By Francisco Rodríguez Cruz
October 16, 2011
I bought it this morning at my nearest news-stand and I first read it throughout while standing in the bus, then after I found a seat and finally in my office. I devoured the base document for the National Conference of the Communist Party of Cuba to be held next January. It was published last Friday and contains two explicit references to sexual orientation, something unheard of in our country.
Among the objectives that the Party must focus on heretofore- which will be discussed by all grass roots members- are these two:
54. Confront racial, gender, religious, sexual orientation and other prejudices that may generate any form of discrimination or limit people from exercising their rights to, among others, occupy public posts, and participate in the political and mass organizations and in the defense of the country.
65. To reflect in the audiovisual media, the printed and digital press Cuban reality in all its diversity regarding the economic, labor and social situation, gender, skin color, religious beliefs, sexual orientation and territorial origin.
Furthermore, the document’s introduction states that “the current challenges require (…) confronting prejudices and discrimination of all kinds that still persist in society”.
There is much more to be said about these purposes which we Cuban militants will be discussing shortly. These reflect the numerous consultations conducted after the VI Party Congress held last April where in some of them I was able to voice my personal views together with othe activists of the LGBT groups within the social networks of CENESEX (National Center for Sexual Education), and also with regards to the press.
With regards to the specific topic of sexual diversity, the enunciation is sufficiently broad to cover a series of transformations that are necessary to guarantee respect for the free sexual orientation and gender identity in Cuba. This has to do with the legal status of homosexual unions and the participation of LGBT persons in responsibilities of any kind, including military institutions.
The issues are on the table but substantiating, persuading, establishing and regulating will be no easy tasks. There is still much to be done.