A man and a transgender woman have married in what’s been seen as Cuba’s first gay wedding.
Same-sex marriages are illegal in the country, but the ceremony went ahead as planned because the bride is legally a woman after undergoing Cuba’s first state-sanctioned sex change operation in 2007.
“I think the Cuban government has really politicised this. I haven’t wanted to turn this into a circus, much less something political,” said bride Wendy Iriepa.
The civil ceremony was simple enough but attracted attention because her partner is Ignacio Estrada,a well known dissident and gay rights activist. The wedding was held on Fidel Castro’s 85th birthday in what the couple had called a “gift” to the former leader.
Notably absent was Mariela Castro, Cuba’s biggest gay marriage supporter and daughter President
Raul Castro. She said she had not been invited to the wedding but sent her congratulations to the couple.
The wedding signals changing attitudes on the island, where homosexuals used to be placed in camps for being “counter-revolutionary” – part of the country’s history that prompted a mea cupla for Fidel Castro last year.