Mariela Castro to push for same-sex marriage in Cuba
Mariela Castro, the daughter of former Cuban President Raúl Castro, has said she will push the country to adopt same-sex marriage.
Castro made the comments in a press conference to mark the launch of the Days against Homophobia and Transphobia in Cuba.
Speaking to the press, the influential Cuban lawmaker, who is also the head of the Cuban National Center for Sex Education, addressed the lack of marriage rights for same-sex couples in Cuba.
According to Associated Press, Castro told media that she would push for same-sex marriage as part of a constitutional reform process expected to begin in July.
She made the comments less than a month after her father Raúl Castro was replaced as President by Miguel Díaz-Canel.
Castro told reporters that LGBT activists “have the strength” to pursue change, praising Díaz-Canel’s “sensibilities and awareness” on gay issues.
Ms Castro previously infuriated social conservatives in the country by holding a ceremonial same-sex union.
Homosexuality has been legal in Cuba since 1979, but there are little anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people and no partnership rights for same-sex couples.
Cuba has a troubled history on LGBT rights.
From 1959, President Fidel Castro oversaw a regime that orchestrated the persecution and murder of LGBT people alongside other dissenters.
Homosexuals were viewed as “inherently counter-revolutionary” and homosexuality was declared a “deviation incompatible with the revolution” by Castro’s regime.
Although acceptance of homosexuality has increased, much of the country’s LGBT movement is centred around Mariela Castro, a figure who still faces enormous scepticism internationally over her high-profile role as a gay rights campaigner.
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