Mariela Castro, the daughter of
President Raul Castro and niece of Fidel Castro, has said that Cuba
will later this year consider whether to recognize gay and lesbian
couples with civil unions.
According to the Agence France-Presse
(AFP) news agency, Mariela Castro told the state website Cuba
Si that the issue is on the agenda.
“According to the Justice Minister
[Maria Esther Reus] … it is going to be discussed in the Assembly,
and is on the agenda for 2012,” Castro said.
She added that she is hopeful that the
Communist Party will adopt a policy that bars discrimination based on
sexual orientation and gender identity at its January 28 national
Castro, who heads the National Center
for Sex Education (Cenesex), began introducing pro-gay reforms to the
Communist Party in 2005. Her center has also mounted public
campaigns to educate people about the issues surrounding
homosexuality and transsexualism.
Anti-gay sentiment on the island was at
its height during the “five gray years” from 1971 to 1976, when
many artists and writers suspected of being homosexual were fired
from their jobs, harassed, and, often, chased into exile. In a 1965
interview, revolutionary leader Fidel Castro called homosexuality a
“deviation” that “clashes with the concept we have of what a
militant Communist must be.”