Homosexuality and the Law
MEMORIES OF the systematic oppression of homosexuals during the period of the Military Units to Aid Production (UMAP) and then during much of the 1970s still color many older homosexuals' perceptions of the Cuban state. The major milestone of this repressive era was the 1971 Congress on Education and Culture, which adopted a number of homophobic resolutions. Younger gays are much less affected by events that in some cases occurred before they were born. Still, the history serves as an ever- present reminder of their vulnerability in an authoritarian regime that has never validated their existence and social contributions, let alone tried to make amends for the immense harm that was done to specific individuals. Nevertheless, it is important to acknowledge that the overall situation of gay males has improved considerably over the past decade, though it still varies from sector to sector. Their civil status may not have changed all that much, but there is far more social space available to them than there once was.
As is the case of Mexico and Costa Rica, homosexuality is not a criminal offense in Cuba. The 1979 Penal Code decriminalized