FATHER'S DAUGHTER

Mariela Castro’s Gay Gamble In Cuba

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In the wake of Cuban president Fidel Castro’s resignation earlier this year, the balance of power has shifted not only to his brother, Raul, but to another Castro, Mariela, Raul’s daughter.

Head of the National Center for Sex Education, Mariela Castro is proposing legislation that will bring bent boys and girls closer to their heterosexual peers. And she may be making all the right moves:

The proposed legislation would recognize same-sex unions, along with inheritance rights. It would also give transsexuals the right to free sex-change operations and allow them to switch the gender on their ID cards, with or without surgery.

There are limits: adoption is not included in the bill and neither is the word marriage.

“A lot of homosexual couples asked me to not risk delaying getting the law passed by insisting on the word ‘marriage’,” Ms. Castro said. “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.”

Castro cites her father’s progression as evidence of Cuba’s changing attitudes toward the LGBT community: “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.”