Death of Trans Man in Cuban Prison Brings Attention to LGBT Community
A young trans man died while in police custody in Cuba. According to Penúltimos Días, an expat Cuban blog, Nelson Linares García, 34, was arrested along with “about a dozen homosexuals, transvestites, and transsexuals in Old Havana” and died while under arrest. A doctor cited “respiratory arrest” as the cause of death, but the authorities did not conduct an autopsy, according to Penúltimos Días. Mariela Castro Espín, daughter of Cuban President Raúl Castro, has been at the forefront of the fight for LGBT equality in Cuba, and has started an organization, National Center for Sexual Education (NCSE). In an interview with the Havana Times, Espín argued that “the prejudices of Cuban society” are responsible for “holding back progress on LGBT human rights, and obstacles exist because prejudices dominate institutional decisions here.”
Wikileaks Reveals Info Uganda’s Anti-Gay Bill
According to a recent Wikileaks report, Uganda’s First Lady Janet Museveni was behind the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. In a diplomatic cable obtained by Wikileaks, U.S. Ambassador to Uganda, Jerry Lanier, called the First Lady a “very extreme woman” and said that she was “ultimately behind this bill.” The bill, which was brought to Parliament in October of 2009, was aimed at criminalizing the act of same sex relationships. According to the language of the proposed legislation, the death penalty would be administered to people who have previous convictions of homosexual behavior, are HIV positive, engage in sexual acts with people of the same sex, or engage in sexual acts with anyone under 18 years of age. Ultimately President Museveni was persuaded by the U.S. to oppose the Bill and the plan was quietly shelved. However, the Ugandan government still has a number of laws that criminalize homosexual behavior.
Gays fight for the Right to Parade in Prague
Days before the first-ever Gay Pride Parade was to take place in the Czech Republic, members of the government came out swinging. Most notably opposed to the event was President Václav Klaus’ senior advisor Petr Hajek. Hajek wrote in a statement on his website that homosexuals were “deviant fellow citizens.” He went on to say that “the prepared Prague gay carnival is a pressure action and a political demonstration of a world with deformed values.”
The Czech Presdent, calling the parade a “manifestation of homosexualism” is standing by his senior staffer. In a comment on the President’s website, Klaus states; “I do not feel any pride in the event either.”