Cuba's Communist Party is considering legal recognition of same-sex couples, reports the Spanish news agency EFE.

In a January 17th story the news agency quoted Psychologist Mariela Castro, director of the Cenesex sex-education center, as saying that the proposed changes to Cuban family law would put members of same-sex unions on par with heterosexual couples.

Mariela Castro is the daughter of acting President Raul Castro and niece of Fidel Castro.

According to EFE, Cenesex approached Cuba's parliament two years ago about modifying the 1975 Famiy Code to recognize the rights of gays, lesbians, and transsexuals.

However, the proposal does is not intended to recognize marriage, but simply legal recognition of their relationship. 

Castro stated that the agency's research showed that the principal needs of Cuban homosexuals "are related to the right to their recognition as consensual couples, as non-matrimonial couples, but that authorities recognize their property and inheritance rights in those non-legalized unions."

"They are not interested in marriage, they are not interested in adoption, because in Cuba there are hardly any children to adopt," she added.

Cenesex was established in 1989 as a department of Public Health Ministry with the mission to help homosexuals, AIDS vicitims, and battered women, among others.

The Cuban Communist Party has yet to decide on the proposal.