Equality Forum panelist Mariela Castro denied visa to Philadelphia

Mariela Castro
Mariela Castro at Montreal’s International Conference on LGBT Human Rights in 2006. (Credit: Wikipedia/Montrealais)

Cuban activist Mariela Castro has been denied a visa to visit Philadelphia for the city’s Equality Forum summit, according to a release from the organization.

Cuba is the featured nation at the 2013 Equality Forum, which will this year run from May 2 through May 5 and include over 30 programs discussing LGBT issues with more than 35 participating nonprofit organizations, religious foundations and educational institutions.

“Over the past 11 years, Equality Forum has invited leaders of the featured nation to attend,” Executive Director Malcolm Lazin said in a statement.

“It is shocking that our State Department would deny Ms. Castro travel to a civil rights summit – especially one held in the birthplace of our democracy that enshrines freedoms of speech and assembly.”

Daughter of Cuban President Raul Castro and niece of former President Fidel Castro, Mariela Castro is a fierce advocate for LGBT rights.

She heads up Havana-based AIDS prevention and LGBT rights organization CENESEX and has been fighting for Cuba to recognize same-sex marriage.

Castro several months ago accepted Equality Forum’s to speak at panel discussion Cuba: Featured Nation, slated to be held Saturday, May 4 at the University of the Arts.

She was also scheduled to be honored with the International Ally for LGBT Equality Award at the International Equality Dinner, also on May 4, at the National Museum of American Jewish History.

The Equality Forum pointed out in a statement that the U.S. State Department issued a visa for Castro to visit New York City to attend United Nation meetings but did not authorize her to travel to Philadelphia to participate in Equality Forum 2013.

“Mariela Castro runs the leading Cuban LGBT organization that offers support and services to LGBT youth and seniors, provides HIV and STD education and prevention, and combats homophobia,” Lazin said.

“These are shared values that deserve the right to be heard regardless of political systems.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Paint Nite: Get drunk and make a painting…

At Paint Nite, New Yorkers can drink and make a painting at a New York City bar.

National

Judge sets January start for murder trial of…

By Elizabeth BarberBOSTON (Reuters) - Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez will be tried in January for the murder of semi-professional football player Odin…

National

Donut capers stymie police in Oregon

For more than a month, mysterious vandals have been smearing pastries on cars, depositing donuts in lawns and leaving cakes strewn about the streets.

International

U.S., European airlines halt flights to Israel due…

U.S. and European airlines halted flights to Tel Aviv in an effort to ensure passenger safety as turmoil in Israel and the region has intensified.

Arts

Don't miss 'Charles James: Beyond Fashion' at the…

Have you been meaning to see "Charles James: Beyond Fashion"? There are only two weeks left to get to the Met and catch this amazing American fashion designer's collection.

Television

Zac Posen talks 'Project Runway' and what it…

We talked to Zac Posen, judge and designer extraordinaire, about the new season of "Project Runway" and what keeps him coming back after three seasons.

Television

'Face Off' contestant David 'DOC' O'Connell sounds off…

David "DOC" O'Connell tells us about getting cast on Season 7 of Syfy's "Face Off," premiering tonight at 9.

Arts

PHOTO: Wildlife photographer Marc Mol captures amazing aerial…

This aerial image was taken by photographer Marc Mol who spotted the animals during an air safari in Zambia.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead…

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead pack

NFL

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will…

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will win Super Bowl?

NFL

5 players to watch at Giants training camp

Metro takes a look at five players who will be on everyone’s mind when Giants training camp gets underway.

NFL

'Vicktory dogs' travel road to rehabilitation seven years…

Of the dozens of dogs groomed by Bad Newz Kennels, 48 were rescued and 22 of the pit bull terriers have emerged at Best Friends Animal Society.

Tech

Learn Braille with these gloves

U.S. scientists have designed high-tech gloves to help users understand Braille in a matter of minutes.

Home

5 New Ikea products that will change your…

We round-up the latest must-have products.

Food

Recipe: Wolfgang Puck's Buttermilk French Toast

We recently spent some time chatting with restauranteur/celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck at his Wolfgang Puck American Grille in the Borgata in Atlantic City. Puck wanted…

Style

Go retro with your sneakers

The best of wacky new sneakers.