Cuba Culture

Raul Castro’s daughter pushing Cuba to consider same sex unions

Posted June 29, 2007 by publisher in Cuba Culture.

Author: Tim Pelzer | People’s Weekly World Newspaper

Cubans are debating a new set of proposals to update the country’s Family Code to include the legal recognition of same-sex relationships and transgender people. Supporters are hoping that the National Assembly will approve the reform package later this year.

Sexologist Mariela Castro Espín, director of Cuba’s National Center for Sex Education (Cenesex), told the Mexican daily newspaper La Jornada at a recent conference in Havana that the proposed changes are part of an effort to eliminate all forms of social exclusion.

Cuban law does not currently recognize gay or lesbian couples. According to Castro, the proposals include recognizing same-sex couples and extending to them all the same rights and privileges that opposite-sex couples enjoy, including inheritance and adoption rights. “One cannot continue perpetuating discrimination and exclusion as a value,” she said.

However, Castro emphasized that gay unions would not be called marriages, which under the Cuban constitution is reserved only for men and women. The rights of gay and lesbian people who are not legally registered as a couple would also be recognized, as would those of opposite-sex unregistered couples. Cenesex drafted the reform proposals.



I suppose any movement in Cuba that calls for debate is good. Too bad it can only be lead by someone in the Castro family but at least Mariela is doing something to force a dialog about something in Cuba.

Maybe she can turn to freeing political prisoners next?

Can “President” Mariela Castro be in the works?

Member Comments

On July 09, 2007, boB1 wrote:

Poverty, poor housing Etc, Etc, Etc. What’s the great solution?
Legalise same sex relationships.
You couldn’t make it up.

On July 09, 2007, publisher wrote:

I know. Of all the things to talk about in Cuba and this rises to the top of the “problems” in their society?

Good point.

On March 05, 2009, Michael McDermid wrote:

I’m sorry, I must have missed the part where it said that legalizing same sex unions had risen to “the top of the ‘problems’ in their society?” Do you have some particular issue with gay people, to the point that any success Castro Espin achieves with gay rights moves other issues further down the priority list?

On March 06, 2009, grant wrote:

This gal is dedicated to gay rights, Nothing to do with other issues in cuban society.

On March 06, 2009, Malo wrote:

The Cuban press is reporting that Cuban President Raul Castro, in a show of revolutionary solidarity with the plight of Cuban gays and lesbians, has volunteered to be the first Cuban to marry a person of the same sex.  President Castro asked the recently dismissed cabinet minister Felipe Perez Roque to be his new bride.  Mr. Perez Roque accepted the proposal, stating that he would fulfill his revolutionary duties like a man, to which President Castro replied that this was exactly what he had in mind.

On March 08, 2009, boB1 wrote:

Mr McDermid,

You have not only “missed the part” you have also missed almost two years since my original post.
I understand that the rights of homosexuals, or for that matter the rights of anyone else in Cuba, have changed little over these last two years.
I note that something else that hasn’t changed, is the totally selfish attitude of pro homosexual groups, or individuals.
There are many people dedicated to easing the plight of those Cubans that find life under Castro difficult, helping the homeless, elderly, sick, or the poor.
Now, if you are a homeless, elderly, sick, or poor Cuban homosexual, then help may be at hand. If however you are just homosexual, then perhaps you should just get off your arse and help your fellow man, instead of just yourselves.

Kind regards,

On March 08, 2009, Michael McDermid wrote:

Hi Bob,

I’m sure you think that you sound very macho, and very pro-humanity, not to mention a serious social commentator. In actual fact, you sound like none of the above. You sound like a dumb, angry bigot who is even prepared to piggyback his prejudices against gays and lesbians, whose lives in Cuba have been traditionally atrocious, on the backs of “the homeless, elderly, sick, or the poor,” as though Mariela Castro’s work on behalf of LGBT people somehow takes away from other social work in, or on behalf of, Cuba. You sound like another insecure macho wimp who can’t stand the idea that a despised minority in Cuba may be getting some relief. “Totally selfish” attitude of “pro homosexual groups?” I daresay that most “pro homosexual groups” have done more, and have more connections with, groups who work with other elements of all societies, even Cuba, than people like you who sit on your ass on a computer and rant about how “selfish” the “pro homosexual groups” are.

Why don’t you try being “just homosexual” in Cuba in, say, 1968, then get back to us. In the meantime, get up off your own arse and try to learn a bit about life instead of braying like an angry fake-macho jackass about things you know nothing about.


On March 08, 2009, publisher wrote:

Okay, folks. Let’s stay on topic here.

Plenty of other places on the internet to get into personal attacks but not here.

Thank you.

On March 08, 2009, boB1 wrote:



On March 10, 2009, Michael McDermid wrote:

Publisher, quick question: in your earlier post, you said “Of all the things to talk about in Cuba and this rises to the top of the “problems” in their society?”  This was in response to a person who posted “You couldn’t make this up,” as though the Mariela Castro’s work on behalf of gays, lesbians, and transsexuals was somehow ridiculous. This sentiment was echoed on this page by “Bob,” who called “pro-homosexual groups” (which is a crude way of saying “gay rights activists,” I suppose)  somehow “selfish.”

In your own post, you put “problems” in quotation marks, as if to indicate that you don’t think that the plight of Cuban gays is, or has been, a problem. Is this an official position of the Havana Journal, or your own view?

If you’d prefer to answer this question in private, please feel free to use my email address, which you have on file.

Thank you.

On March 10, 2009, publisher wrote:

I guess what I mean is that there are many larger problems in Cuba than gay rights.

Little things like freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom to travel, freedom to work for a job that pays a living wage.

Having the President’s daughter working on just gay rights is a way to mask all the other problems in Cuba.

I am not anti-gay if that is what you are asking. I live in Massachusetts and have spent many weeks over the years in Provincetown and published the but had to let it go due to time constraints.

On March 10, 2009, Michael McDermid wrote:

Thanks for the clarification, Rob. “Bob’s” homophobic comment on “the totally selfish attitude of pro homosexual groups, or individuals” when, in fact, he provided no evidence of their “selfishness” seemed to fit disconcertingly with your own post, so I wanted a clarification on where you, and the Havana Journal, stood in relation. Much appreciated.