The daughter of Cuba's president leads Havana's gay pride march and symbolic mass gay wedding to push for acceptance. Rough cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION Cuban gay rights activists led by the daughter of President Raul Castro marched in Havana on Saturday (May 9) to promote acceptance of gay and transgender Cubans in a country once notoriously hostile toward them. Several hundred people turned out for the gay pride parade and carried rainbow and Cuban flags. Cuban gays have made great strides in recent years, largely because of Mariela Castro's political standing, but same-sex marriage and civil unions remain illegal. Some public attitudes changed when retired leader Fidel Castro admitted in 2010 that he had been wrong to discriminate against gays, who were sent to labour camps in the early years after the 1959 revolution. The march was followed by a mass symbolic wedding. Same-sex marriage is illegal in Cuba but that did not stop gay couples from tying the knot. The ceremony was inspired by the mass wedding of more than 100 couples at the World Pride event in Toronto last June, Castro told reporters earlier this week. Castro said she also wanted other Cubans to be able to share the experience she and her husband had of a spiritual but unofficial ceremony blessed by a religious leader.