The Communist Party of Cuba has welcomed a plan to reform the country’s family laws to grant “full rights” to homosexual couples, including the adoption of children, allowing sex and identity changes for transsexuals and in the long term legalizing homosexual unions.
The announcement was made by the director of the National Center for Sexual Education, Mariela Castro, during the 5th International Culture and Development Congress which was held in Havana.
Castro, who is the daughter of interim president Raul Castro, said, “We think we should come to an agreement that there be an article in the Family Code on gender identity and sexual orientation for the right to free sexual orientation and gender identity.”
Castro said the plan must first be approved by the Communist party bureau and later by the National Assembly. However, she said a request has already been filed with the Ministry of Public Health to allow three homosexual couples to receive reproduction assistance, in anticipation of the change in Cuban law. While she noted that there has been some resistance to the plan, she said, “Laws by themselves are not sufficient for achieving real change,” but they are essential to advancing policies.
Regarding the legalization of homosexual unions, Castro said they could not yet be called “marriages” because that requires a change in Cuba’s Constitution. “That proposal will be made at an opportune moment. Right now changing the Family Code will be enough,” she added.
“We have inherited a patriarchal family model,” she claimed. “We are not capable of breaking with it and we must do so,” Castro stated.