Gays and Cuba (correction)

Richard Fidler rfidler at
Tue Nov 19 20:33:05 MST 2002

My apologies to Eric Toren. The Cuban Penal Code excerpt (art. 303) that I
quoted is from a different web site than the one he cited. The latter, the
Justice Studies Center of the Americas, provides a version of the code that
is significantly different than the one I quoted. Here is what Eric was
referring to (I should have checked his reference before posting earlier):

Ultraje Sexual [Sexual offence]
Se sanciona con privación de libertad de tres meses a un año o multa de cien
a trescientas cuotas al que:
a) Acose a otro con requerimientos sexuales; [Note: illegalization of sexual
harassment, as Eric said; no reference to any offence associated with
b) ofenda el pudor o las buenas costumbres con exhibiciones o actos
c) produzca o ponga en circulación publicaciones, grabados, cintas
cinematográficas o magnetofónicas, grabaciones, fotografías u otros objetos
que resulten obscenos, tendentes a pervertir o degradar fas [las]

The Code was adopted in 1988, but has since been amended. At the end, there
are the following lists of amendments:

Cuba: Código Penal versión oficial de 1987 modificado en 1994 (D.L. 150),
modificado en 1997 (D.L. 175), modificado 1999 (Ley 87). Además la
publicación del Código Penal actualizado, Ley 62/87 del Ministerio de
Justicia de 1997 (ya que el código penal vigente hoy contiene las normativas
1, 2, 3, y 4. El ejemplar adjunto contiene la ley 62 del 30-dic-87; Decreto
ley 150 del 10-jun-94; Decreto-Ley 175 del 26 -jun-97 -SIN incluir la ley 87
del 15 de marzo de 1999). Asimismo, la Ley No. 88 de Protección de la
Independencia Nacional y la Economía de Cuba. Y la publicación oficial de la
modificación del Código Penal Decreto-Ley No. 150 y 175.

The Code I quoted, at

does not contain the list of amendments, but stops in 1988.

So it may well be that since 1988 the Code has been _amended to remove
homosexual acts as offences_ under Cuban criminal law. To confirm this, it
would be necessary to check that list of amendments, since their titles and
references do not indicate the content of the amendments.

There's a project for you, Walter Lippmann. If you are near the National
Library in Havana (or some other place with a collection of legislation) one
of these days, why not check this out? If my hunch is correct, then we have
powerful evidence that in fact Cuba has moved to eliminate oppression of
gays and lesbians etc. not only in fact but in law.

Richard Fidler

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