The sexologist daughter of Cuban President Raul Castro expects the upcoming assembly of the ruling Communist Party to help clear the way for a bill on transsexual and gay rights Hispanically Speaking News reports.
“I believe the party conference will define an explicit policy of non-descrimination in matters of sexual orientation and gender identity and that, in turn, it will help dismantle the prejudices standing in the way of its approval,” Mariela Castro, director of the National Sexual Education Center, said in an interview on the Web site CubaSi.
She made her comments when asked about the draft bill that seeks to modify the Cuban Family Code to legalize same-sex unions, among other rights it aims to secure.
For now, according to Mariela Castro, the bill is being studied by specialists of the Justice Ministry and experts of Cuba’s National Jurists Union with the idea of including it in the 2012 legislative schedule.
For several years Mariela Castro has promoted legal reforms on the island in favor of sexual minorities.
In 2008, the Cuban government approved sex-change operations by ministerial decree, but no progress has been made in Parliament to reform the Family Code.
At certain times the sexologist has also asked the Communist Party to rid itself of anti-gay discrimination.
Cuba’s Communist Party will gather on Jan. 28 for its first National Conference, a meeting that has sparked great expectations about the possible changes and guidelines it will come up with for a generational “changing of the guard,” as Raul Castro requested at the sixth party congress last April.
But the president put a damper on such expectations last week when he told reporters “we shouldn’t get our hopes up” about the conference since this is an “internal matter” of Cuba’s only legally recognized political party.