This weekend marked a momentous moment in Cuba when during its gay pride parade more than 1,000 lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Cubans marched through the streets of Havana to show an unity against discrimination.
While not accepting of gays in the past, Cuba has been on a steady rise when it comes to social acceptance and acknowledgement of its gay civilians. Two years ago, Cuba made it a law that it was illegal for any workplace that discriminated against someone based upon their sexual orientation.
And not in the country’s 8th annual gay march, the participants are hoping to continue the growth Cuba has exhibiting.
Organized by President Raul Castro’s daughter, Mariela Castro, one of the many reasons for the march was to protest against the country’s current standing on same-sex marriage since it remains illegal within the country.
“Same sex marriage is already legal in Argentina and Uruguay and in Mexico City. And we’ve always celebrated their achievements,” said Mariela Castro, on the country’s growing acceptance of the gay community matching other Latin countries. She also added, “So we’re not interested in being the first. For us, it’s just about achieving it in the first place.”
Since Fidel Castro stepped down from power, and permitted his brother to take over Cuba—outside of the gay community—has taken huge steps in improving the country’s relationship within and afar. Within the country, however, the improved relationship between members of the gay community has been one of its most significant ones.
During the march, civilians took part in weddings between gay couples which was overseen by Cuban and U.S. religious leaders. According to Cuban LGBT organizations, they hope that gay marriage will eventually become legal before the 9th annual gay march of 2016.