Gay man marries transexual woman in Cuban first

By REUTERS
August 14, 2011 04:14

 
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HAVANA - A gay dissident and a transsexual woman married on Saturday in what was said to be a first for Cuba, then draped themselves in the rainbow flag of gay pride and rode through the streets of Havana.

In a simple civil ceremony surrounded by much hoopla, Ignacio Estrada, 31, and Wendy Iriepa, 37, signed a marriage certificate, exchanged rings and kissed before a state official, who wished them much happiness.

It was not technically a same-sex marriage, which is prohibited in Cuba, and drew no interference from authorities because Iriepa is legally a woman after undergoing Cuba's first state-sanctioned sex change operation in 2007.

But the wedding, held on Fidel Castro's 85th birthday in what the couple had called a "gift" to the former leader, was aimed at advancing homosexual rights in Cuba and tinged with politics as some of Cuba's best-known dissidents participated and US diplomats attended in a public show of support.

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