The first ever recorded vote cast against a government bill in Cuba was in reaction to a lack of LGBT employment protections, reports Pink News.
The solitary vote by Mariela Castro – the daughter of Cuban president Raul Castro – was cast against the bill because it failed to prevent discrimination based on gender identity.
Castro, who was behind a historic LGBT conference in Cuba earlier this year, said:
“I could not vote in favour without the certainty that the labour rights of people with different gender identity would be explicitly recognised. There have been advances in the way things are discussed, above all the way things are discussed at the grassroots level, in workplaces, unions and party groupings… I think we still need to perfect the democratic participation of the representatives within the Assembly.”
However, Baruch College Latin American studies professor Ted Henken has suggested that Castro’s vote “is more a sign of what Mariela can get away with than a sign of what your everyday parliamentarian can get away with.”
Cuba made gender reassignment surgery available free of charge in 2008.