Thursday, December 18, 2014

Obama's deal on Cuba said to be good for LGBT people there, but remember the refugee crisis of 1980


The Washington Blade, in an article by Michael D. Lavers, reports that LGBT activists in Cuba welcome the improvement in relations between the US and Cuba, given President Obama’s deal to release some US Cuban prisoners in exchange for a hostage.  The story is here.  

Some conservatives have responded by suggesting that the deal could encourage more hostage taking of visitors to dictatorial countries.  Imagine a prominent LGBT visitor (maybe a journalist) being kidnapped while working in Russia.
  
Back in the latter part of 1980, there was an influx of Cuban refugees by boat to South Florida, and many were LGBT.  There was a lot of “pressure” in gay churches (such as Metropolitan Community Church of Dallas at the time, when Don Eastman was pastor) to personally sponsor and house refugees.  This has not happened in 2014 with the immigration and asylum “crisis”, which can include LGBT people from Russia, Uganda, Nigeria, etc., although there has been “underground” talk in some forums, such as at the DC LGBT Community Center.  

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