Cuban sexologist and lawmaker Mariela Castro, daughter of President Raul Castro, said Tuesday that passing a law that fully protects the rights of the LGBT community will mean a "cultural and ideological enrichment" for Cuba and "will strengthen the principles of social cohesion."
Castro, director of the National Sexual Education Center, or Cenesex, presented Tuesday in Havana the program for the 8th Cuban Day against Homophobia and Transphobia, focused this year on labor rights of the LGBT community.
As a legislator of the National Assembly, Castro seeks to introduce a comprehensive law on gender identity plus other regulations that fully acknowledge gay rights, something that, she said, has growing support in the legislature, the government and the Communist Party of Cuba.
According to Mariela Castro, the chief stumbling block for such a bill going forward in the Cuban National Assembly is the fact that decisions there are taken by consensus - "there must be a wide majority" so "fear exists about discussing these subjects in the Assembly and creating a ruture in society."
"I'm convinced that while not everyone may agree with a law that includes respect for LGBT rights, this won't create a rupture, but will mean cultural and ideological enrichment," she said.
Castro presented Tuesday the program for the Day against Homophobia and Transphobia between May 5-23, with conferences, concerts, games and sensitizing sessions.
As a novelty, this year there will be an "inter-faith ceremony of love" for same-sex or transexual couples, a symbolic act that allows them to vow their dedication to one another, just as heterosexual couples do, until those marriages are legalized.
Among the guests at this year's event will be the archbishop of the Eucharistic Catholic Church of Toronto, Rev. Roger LaRade, along with representatives of the healthcare workers union in the United States and of the union of construction workers in Uruguay, institutions that are all very active in the fight for gays' labor rights.