things that matter

Gay Activists Met In Havana To Talk Cuban LGBTQ Rights

@mklavers81 / Twitter / Mark Scott Johnson / Flickr

A group of LGBTQ activists from the United States traveled to Havana, Cuba to meet with their Cuban counterparts, as well as Cuban officials, to talk about the future of LGBTQ rights on the Caribbean island. The trip was organized by Tico Almeida, the founder of Freedom To Work, and included three other activists who met with Mariela Castro, who is the director of the Cuban National Center for Sex Education. Castro is the daughter of current Cuban president Raúl Castro, according the Miami Herald. Despite the positive intentions of building bridges between the LGBTQ community of the U.S. and Cuba, people remain skeptical about what the future has in store for the LGBTQ community of Cuba.

“Business leaders at our top companies like American Airlines, Google, and Facebook have helped build bridges between Americans and the Cuban people, and it’s also important for the LGBT movement in the United States to create stronger connections with the brave gay and lesbian Cubans who are petitioning their government for the freedom to marry the person they love,” Almeida told Miami Herald.

Other LGBTQ activists, like SAVE executive director Tony Lima, hoped that the group will do more than have dialogue with Cuban regime approved people. Lima posted this message to Facebook:

While it’s important to engage the Cuban people, I would be extremely concerned about creating optics that support the…

Posted by Tony Lima on Saturday, May 13, 2017

“While it’s important to engage the Cuban people, I would be extremely concerned about creating optics that support the Cuban Regime – a regime that continues to suppress its people and the people of Venezuela,” Lima wrote on Facebook. “It is telling that Cuba’s leading LGBTQ rights activist is the straight daughter (Mariela Castro) of Raul Castro. We must not forget ONE family has controlled Cuba for nearly six decades with brutal implications for LGBTQ people during the far majority of that time.”

During the meeting, there were reports of an independent LGBTQ activist being blocked by the Cuban government from attending any of the meetings. According to Washington Blade, Nelson Gandulla, the president of the Cuban Federation for LGBTI Rights, was blocked by the Cuban government from leaving the Cienfuegos Province to go to Havana in order to meet the U.S. LGBTQ activists.

As for the fate of the LGBTQ Cuban community moving forward, only time will tell if the Caribbean island government with allow marriage equality and full protections from discrimination.

(H/T: Miami Herald)

READ: Her Transgender Son Helped The First Latina Senator In Florida Stand For LGBTQ Rights

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Superman Wasn't Around So This Dog Jumped To Action Holding His Hurt Owner Until Paramedics Arrived

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Superman Wasn’t Around So This Dog Jumped To Action Holding His Hurt Owner Until Paramedics Arrived

Def Civil B. Blanca / Facebook / Mike McCune / Flickr

On a Facebook page for the paramedics of Bahia Blanca, Argentina, a story was posted last week that made us realize how amazing dogs are and how little we deserve them. A man fell out of a tree he was working on and his faithful pup stayed by his side until, during and even after paramedics came to help him. What a little super hero.

According to the page “Def Civil B. Blanca,” a 28-year-old worker fell out of a tree he was pruning. While waiting for help, he was protected by his dog Tony, until paramedics arrived on the scene.

“At 06:07 p.m. A person pruning a tree in Balboa Street 2473 fell from it from a height of about 2 meters. The 28-year-old worker suffered slight skull trauma, so he was transported by ambulance personnel from the SIEMPRE service. At all times the injured was accompanied by his pet TONY. Police and Civil Defense personnel attended.”

It appears that even after the paramedics arrived, the dog refused to leave his master’s side.

Tony stayed the entire time they treated his best friend.

The dog seemingly held on tighter as they treated his best friend.

He was with him to the very end, all the way up until he was lifted up into the ambulance.

This dog put all of our human best friends to shame, proving once and for all, we don’t really deserve these amazing creatures, especially with all we put them through.

You know what we make animals do. Don’t make me repeat it. Okay, since you’re pushing for it:

For one, we make them pose for embarrassing photos.

Dog Fidget Spinner GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY
Credit: ApplePiePizza / Reddit

You put a fidget spinner on your dog, whose name is also “Fidget?” Just because it’s clever, doesn’t make it right.

We make them live in small cramped spaces.

Hot Dog GIF by Cheezburger - Find & Share on GIPHY
Credit: Cheezburger / Giphy

The crisper? You know dogs are only partially made of lettuce, right?

The work we make these animals do is getting ridiculous.

Yard Work Dog GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY
Via: Giphy

Just because they can do the work better than us, doesn’t mean we should take advantage of these beautiful beasts.

But, if you’re going to do it anyway. Throw’em a bone every now and then.

Credit: Giphy / Fritz Dog / Youtube

They’ll appreciate it, and maybe stick with you the next time you fall out of a tree in Argentina.

[H/T] Fox

READ: This Ice Cream Parlor Has Dogs Everywhere Barking

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