Cuba and gays

Philip Ferguson plf13 at
Mon Sep 2 19:35:18 MDT 2002

Thanks Jose for this very thoughtful and excellent post on the question
of gays in Cuba.  A couple of issues ago we ran an article in
'revolution' on gays in Cuba by US gay activist Larry Oberg, which
pointed out the immense progress made in Cuba on gay rights.  Indeed, it
seems that havana is the hottest gay place in the Caribbean these days.

One wee thing, however.  You say:
> Finally, unlike the presidents on any other country I can think of,
> Fidel Castro is on the record, in a book printed in Cuba by the government
> itself as a) viewing homosexuality as a natural thing that must be respected
> and b) opposing any and all discriminating and prejudice against
> homosexuals.

Well, the NZ prime minister Helen Clark has publicly apologised to gays
and lesbians for past discrimination as well as being a prominent
supporter of gay rights.  Here, gay rights are so mainstream and
innocuous that the whole ruling class is for them.

We have a gay cabinet minister, we have a Maori transsexual elected with
increasingly large majorities in a (once Tory) rural seat, and we have
another openly gay MP, and loads of others that aren't quite so open but
no-one cares about their gayness anyway.  Being gay and coming out is
generally a good career move here, especially in the Labour Party.  It's
becoming quite similar in Britain too, even in the Tory party, although
I think NZ is out ahead globally in the political correctness stakes.

Gay tourism is officially promoted by the government here too.  The NZ
capitalist class loves the pink dollar and no bourgeois dinner party is
complete without a gay couple, or at least someone openly gay.

While the removal of discrimination against gays is a good thing, the
fact is that capital does not require discrimination against gays and
most of the removal of anti-gay discrimination has tended to strengthen
rather than weaken the system overall, with middle class gays being
incorporated in the power structure.

At the end of the day the only relation without which capitalism cannot
survive is the wage-labour/capital relation.

Anyway, thanks again, for your great post on Cuba.  I have also posted
it on the main anti-war/anti-cap e-group in NZ, where someone recently
posted that they thought Castro was anti-gay.


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