Saturday, December 21, 2013

Cuba Passes Ints Version of ENDA

You know that America's claim to be the land of liberty and religious freedom is a lie when Cuba now provides more employment non-discrimination protections for its LGBT citizens than 29 states in this country, Virginia naturally being one of the 29.  This strange state of affairs underscores the need to eliminate the special deference and special privileges afforded conservative Christianity - which is neither truly Christian nor a positive force - in America.  One can only hope that anti-gay Republicans in Congress will be embarrassed that Cuba is now more protective of its LGBT citizens than this country.  

In what Cuban LGBT advocates are calling a historic victory the Cuban parliament has reportedly adopted changes to the island's labor codes to include language that explicitly bans employment discrimination based on sexual orientation.

We now have the 1st law that protects gays, in this case at the workplace. The intense parliamentary debate left it almost for certain that the labor law will also ban discrimination based on gender identity. [President Raul Castro's daughter] Mariela Castro proposed banning discrimination based on gender identity and obtained the support of Christian and intellectual parliamentary leaders."

In a follow-up blog post in which he expanded his thoughts Francisco stated that a majority of the parliament voted in favor of banning discrimination based on sexual orientation at work ("We succeeded! The first Cuban law to protect LGBT people's rights").

He also said that while other protections had yet to be approved Mariela Castro, daughter of Cuban president Raul Castro and newly elected member of the parliament, stood up and called for additional language banning employment discrimination on the basis of gender identity, HIV status and disability.  Francisco says that while some deputies spoke against the measures they received immediate support from Miriam Ofelia Ortega Suárez who is also the first woman to be ordained as pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Cuba as well as deputy Pablo Odén Marichal who is an Episcopalian pastor as well.

Cuban vice president Miguel Díaz-Canel, who also has a seat in the parliament, said he recognized the political value of Mariela Castro's proposals and suggested the creation of a parliamentary commission to study and implement the suggestions.  President Raul Castro who led the Friday parliamentary sessions backed the proposal and a majority voted in favor of sending the additional proposals to a committee.
 It is long past time that Congress enact ENDA.  It is also long past time that America normalize relations with Cuba and open up trade and tourism with and to that country a mere 90 miles from Key West.

No comments: