Cuba recognises international day against LGBT+ hate

A large rainbow flag flew proudly outside of Cuba’s Health Ministry on Monday to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.

It’s a symbol of progress for one member of the country’s LGBT+ community.

"It's progress that the LGBT+ rainbow flag is hung up today at the Health Ministry, a government institution. We are recognised and we are supported, being joined in the struggle for LGBT+ rights."

Coordinated events are held every year on May 17 across the world to raise awareness of LGBT+ rights violations.

In Cuba's case, the early years of the country's revolution saw homosexuals sent to correctional labor camps.

Although former leader Fidel Castro later apologised, the stigma against non-heterosexual expression persists.

Proposals to recognise same-sex marriage have stalled in recent years because of conservative opinion and a slow legislative process.

Yet, Communist-run Cuba has made strides over the past decade.

The country has approved sex-change operations and banned workplace discrimination.

The progress reflects a trend in Latin America, where same-sex couples are allowed to marry in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Uruguay and parts of Mexico, despite opposition from religious leaders.

Rights activists still acknowledge there is a long way to go to full equality in Latin America and the greater world.

Homicide reports in Brazil put the country as one of the most dangerous in the world for transgender people and marriage equality legislation has stalled in countries like El Salvador and Honduras.