Cubans march against homophobia in Havana

Published May 14, 2011

| Associated Press

Cubans have held a short but colorful parade celebrating sexual diversity to mark the International Day Against Homophobia.

Dozens of people waving rainbow flags and banging drums marched through the capital Saturday. One participant held a portrait of ex-leader Fidel Castro.

Castro's niece Mariela Castro campaigns for gay rights and heads the government-backed National Sexual Education Center. She says the march is meant to raise awareness about discrimination.

Cuba is far more tolerant of homosexuality than in the early years after the 1959 revolution, when many gays lost jobs, were imprisoned or sent to work camps or fled to exile. The government has even began paying for Cubans' sex-change operations in recent years.

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