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Mariela Castro To Get Gay Rights Award In Philly

10:25 AM, Apr 30, 2013   |    comments
Mariela Castro, daughter of the current Cuban President Raul Castro and the director of the Cuban National Center for Sex Education, waves after addressing the San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Community Center on the gay rights on May 23, 2012 (KIMIHIRO HOSHINO/AFP/Getty Images)
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PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The daughter of Cuban President Raul Castro will travel to Philadelphia to accept an award for her gay rights advocacy.

Officials at the Equality Forum say Mariela Castro will attend the group's annual conference on gay rights this weekend. The organization's executive director, Malcolm Lazin, said Tuesday that the U.S. State Department reversed its initial decision denying a visa for Mariela Castro's visit.

Castro is the niece of retired Cuban leader Fidel Castro. She is the director of Cuba's National Center for Sex Education and the country's most prominent gay rights activist.

She was allowed to attend an academic conference in San Francisco last year. Cuban-American lawmakers blasted the decision, calling Castro a shill for her family's Communist regime.

A State Department official confirmed she has permission to visit Philadelphia.

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