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Cuba to weigh civil unions for gays: official

18 january 2012, 11:29
©REUTERS/Desmond Boylan
©REUTERS/Desmond Boylan
Cuba's National Assembly this year will take up the issue of civil unions for same-sex couples, as part of the Communist government's bid to end discrimination, the president's daughter said Monday, AFP reports.

"According to the Justice Minister (Maria Esther Reus) ... it is going to be discussed in the assembly, and is on the agenda for 2012," Mariela Castro, the sex educator daughter of President Raul Castro, told the state website "Cuba Si".

The issue on the table will be civil unions for gays and lesbians, but not gay marriage, the report said.

Mariela Castro, who leads the National Sex Education Center, said she believes the Communist Party will adopt at its national conference January 28 a "non-discrimination policy" paving the way for lawmakers in the Americas' only one-party Communist regime to pass.

Homosexuality has long been stigmatized in Cuba and was repressed by the government led by her uncle, Fidel Castro, for decades, with internment camps for gays in the 1960s, and repression in the 1970s.

In recent years, Mariela Castro has been at the forefront of change inside the government in areas such as sexuality and gender issues.

Last year two men became the first gay couple to marry in Argentina under a law approved by Congress that set a historic precedent for Latin America.

The new Argentine law amends the phrase "husband and wife" to "contracting parties" in Argentina's Civil Code. It also extends equal rights to homosexual couples in matters having to do with adoption, inheritance and social benefits.

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