Cuba: first transgender couple get married

LGBT marches cancelled in Cuba due to ‘new tensions’

A transgender man and a transgender woman married each other in Cuba last week, in a first for the island nation.

On July 16, Ramses and Dunia’s wedding took place at Havana’s San Francisco de Paula Marriage Palace, which is run by Cuba’s justice ministry.

The couple’s civil union was registered according to the legal genders on their official documents.

They were given legal advice by the state’s national sex education centre (CENESEX), which is run by LGBT+ rights campaigner Mariela Castro, the daughter of former Cuban president Raul Castro.

“This legal act doesn’t violate Cuban law because it’s about two people whose legally registered gender is female and male, even though that’s incoherent with the gender identities of Ramses and Dunia,” CENESEX said.

The couple had previously experienced issues with their marriage plans, but CENESEX explained that there is no legal requirement in Cuba to present as your legal gender at your wedding ceremony.

Both Ramses and Dunia are waiting for gender affirmation surgery, which is free in Cuba.

The situation for LGBT+ people in Cuba – which, following Fidel Castro’s 1959 communist revolution, was historically one of marginalisation, stigmatisation and harassment – has begun to improve in the last decade.

In April 2019, Cuba’s new constitution banned discrimination on gender and defined marriage as “a social and legal institution” rather than a “union between a man and a woman.”

Same-sex marriage could therefore be legalised as part of reforms to the Family Code, which will take place over the next two years.

IDAHOBIT marches cancelled in Cuba

However, on May 6 the organisers of International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOBIT) marches in Cuba announced that they were cancelled due to “new tensions.”

CENESEX said that planned marches in Havana and Camagüey would not go ahead.

The statement said the events were being cancelled due to “new tensions in the international and regional context,” which they said “directly and indirectly affect our country.”

It also said the country’s Ministry of Public Health ordered them to cancel the marches, and said they were acting in line with “the Party, the State and the Revolution.”

“We must emphasise that this change in the program of the Days does not imply the suspension of the rest of the activities,” the statement said.