The daughter of Cuban president Raul Castro is championing a new bill in the Cuban National Assembly that would make it illegal to discriminate against LGBT people.
While the bill aims to bar discrimination against lesbians and gays in areas such as employment and housing it stops shorts of attempting to legalise same-sex marriage or adoption.
Mariela Castro (left), who is director of the National Sex Education Centre and is the niece of Fidel Castro, told the BBC that “A lot of homosexual couples asked me to not risk delaying getting the law passed by insisting on the word marriage.”
In Cuba marriage is not as important as the family and at least this way we can guarantee the personal and inheritance rights of homosexuals and transsexuals,” she said.
Ms. Castro, a psychologist, has long publicly supported equal rights for LGBT people.
Her father, Raul, recently took over the Presidency after his brother Fidel stepped down in February after 49 years due to ill health.
“I’ve seen changes in my father since I was a child. I saw him as macho and homophobic. But as I have grown and changed as a person, so I have seen him change,” Ms. Castro said.
Same-sex sexual relations between those over the age of 16 were legalised in 1992 in Cuba. While there is reportedly limited public support for LGBT people and rights, and gay organisations are restricted, there is an active gay nightlife in the capital Havana.
In January the Cuban culture minister Abel Preito gave public support to gay marriage.