Cuban National Center for Sex Education
The National Center for Sex Education (Centro Nacional de Educación Sexual, or CENESEX) is a government-funded body in Cuba. The center is best known for advocating tolerance of LGBT issues on the island. CENESEX stresses acceptance of sexual diversity and has attracted international attention in recent years for its campaigns for the rights of transgender persons, including the recognition of an individual’s gender identity, regardless of birth sex, and provision of state-funded sexual reassignment surgery. The head of the center is Mariela Castro, daughter of Cuban leader Raúl Castro (brother of former leader Fidel Castro).
CENESEX’s mission is to contribute to “the development of a culture of sexuality that is full, pleasurable and responsible, as well as to promote the full exercise of sexual rights.” The center plays a primary role in education concerning contraception and AIDS.
State-funded sexual reassignment
The center pushed for passage of a law that would provide transgender persons with free sex reassignment surgery and hormone replacement therapy in addition to granting them new legal identification documents with their changed gender. A draft bill was presented to the Cuban parliament in 2005. Prior to being approved, it was suggested that the bill would make Cuba the most liberal nation in Latin America on gender issues. The measure passed in June 2008.
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