Cuba Backing Gay Marriage?
By: Dr. Paul Kengor
I was recently contacted by Ben Johnson of LifeSiteNews, who told me of a fascinating development. He informed me of a curious fan of President Obama’s advocacy of gay marriage: Mariela Castro, niece of ailing and aging Cuban tyrant, Fidel Castro, and daughter of current despot, Raul Castro.
Ben knows that my area of research is the communist movement. I had just published an article on the longstanding Marxist/communist position against traditional marriage. I quoted Karl Marx on the “abolition of the family” and underscored the anti-family actions of communists historically and worldwide, from the Bolsheviks in Russia to Communist Party USA (CPUSA) to communist nations generally—such as Cuba.
Importantly, I noted a key exception to the Marxist/communist assault on the institution of marriage: As I said, the Russians certainly were not stumping for gay marriage. Joe Stalin was no gay-rights crusader. Neither was Fidel Castro. To the contrary, communist regimes tended to be militantly anti-homosexual. In Cuba, Castro locked up homosexuals as public menaces, putting them in prison or lunatic asylums.
Thus, for Raul Castro’s daughter to publicly support gay marriage is quite remarkable. Specifically, Mariela Castro called President Obama’s statement on gay marriage “humane” and “understanding,” said it has “great value,” and wished that his words “will be taken seriously in the political and legislative decisions made in different states and in the whole world.”
Again, this is striking. Here is a high-level Cuban communist official publicly pushing not only for gay rights but gay marriage.
As Ben Johnson reported, Mariela, a “trained sexologist,” heads the Cuban National Center for Sex Education. In Havana in broad daylight, she led an “LGBT” parade, where, as Johnson reported: “Some 400 transvestites sashayed behind Castro, doing a conga line through the streets, to celebrate the Fifth Cuban Day Against Homophobia, observed elsewhere on May 17. Marchers shouted, ‘Down with homophobia! Long live sexual diversity!’”
This scene was once unthinkable in Cuba.
Even more eye-opening, Mariela maintains that her uncle favors same-sex marriage, “but he has not made it public.” More than that, she says Fidel is a closet gay-rights advocate: “He has done some advocacy work, speaking of the need to make progress in terms of rights based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”
To hasten “gay marriage,” Mariela says Cuba will be changing its “Family Code” and “constitution.”
In short, this is an amazing turnabout. What’s going on? Why this sudden conversion by Castro and communist Cuba? Does this make sense?
Yes, it does. The root of the answer, once again, is the Marxist/communist assault on marriage. Led either by the spirit of the times or by another spiritual force that has long led communists, the communist priority is not gay rights but a continued assault on the family. It’s an assault on an institution both ancient and Biblical. As ex-communist Whittaker Chambers liked to say, the communist worldview is grounded in the first sin at the Garden of Eden, when man and woman, first joined by God, were separated by the Evil One: “Ye shall be as gods.”
For atheistic communists, this is just the latest slap in a century-long sustained bludgeoning of marriage and the family. Faced with a conflict between their penchant for persecuting the family and persecuting homosexuals, the communist war on traditional morality and faith and family won out, thus dictating a sudden embrace of gay marriage (at least in Cuba). As long as the traditional family is destroyed, Marxism is advanced. Communists will do whatever they need to destroy the family; “gay marriage” seems the latest device.
In the Communist Manifesto, Marx characterized the communist goal of “abolition of the family” as revolutionary, “the most radical rupture with traditional relations.” Indeed, Mariela Castro speaks of her new cause as “revolutionary.” She wants to break the “patriarchal family model.”
No doubt, Mariela sees President Obama’s support of same-sex marriage as a step in rupturing that family model.
Finally, an interesting coda to this story: Ben Johnson reports that this “revolutionary process” in Cuba is being underwritten by American taxpayers. He says that in 2011, the State Department spent $300,000 promoting homosexual activism in Cuba. The funds went “to strengthen grassroots organizations to create the conditions that allow meaningful and unhindered participation by members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community in all aspects of Cuban society.”
Moreover, Mariela Castro was granted a visa to visit the United States for a conference in San Francisco. The visa was granted by Hillary Clinton’s State Department.
When I first heard about the visa, I figured it was merely another example of the Obama administration going soft on communist regimes. Now, however, given Mariela’s kinship with President Obama on gay marriage, maybe there’s more to the story—a lot more.
Dr. Paul Kengor is professor of political science at Grove City College and executive director of The Center for Vision & Values. His books include "The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism," and his latest release, "Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century."