State Dept. Grants Mariela Castro Visa to Attend Equality Forum

Organizers confirm that the Cuban LGBTQ civil rights leader will attend this year's festivities

Last week, I told you about the U.S. State Department’s refusal to grant Mariela Castro a visa to attend this year’s Equality Forum, where she was to be honored for her work promoting LGBTQ civil rights in Cuba. But it looks like they’ve changed their minds.

Just got word from Equality Forum organizers that Castro has been authorized and will be attending this year’s festivities. They are confirming that she will speak at the Cuba: Featured Nation Panel on Sat., May 4 at 2:30 p.m., and on that same evening, starting at 6:30 p.m., she will presented with the International Ally for LGBT Equality Award at the International Equality Dinner. The award recognizes Castro’s work as director of the Cuban National Center for Sex Education (CENESEX), and for her outspoken advocacy for LGBT equality in Cuba.

The Equality Forum kicks of Thu., May and runs through Sun., May 5. For info on events, visit

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