By Nick Visser
Originally published on Advocate.com January 19 2012 6:38 PM ET
Mariela Castro Espin, daughter of Cuban president Raul Castro and a leading gay rights activist in the country, says that the nation’s lawmakers will consider legalizing same-sex civil unions this year.
“I believe that the Party Conference may help to define a policy explicitly prohibiting discrimination on sexual orientation and gender identity and, in turn, help to dismantle the prejudices that hinder its adoption,” Castro Espin said in an interview published by the state-run Cuban news agency Cuba Si.
In the interview, Castro Espin said the country’s Family Code is undergoing legal scrutiny, and discussion regarding the possibility of same-sex civil unions is on the legislative agenda for 2012. Despite a virulently antigay past, the Cuban government has increased advocacy for LGBT equality in recent years, supporting anti-homophobia campaigns and paying for gender reassignment surgeries of transgender individuals.