HAVANA – The daughter of Cuban President Raul Castro said during a rousing gay rights march Saturday that her father advocated eliminating sexual discrimination, and she reiterated her own hope the country would soon legalize same-sex marriage
Mariela Castro, a noted gay rights advocate and head of Cuba’s National Center for Sex Education, also repeated her praise for U.S. President Barack Obama’s public remarks in favor of same-sex marriage, saying the American leader’s words “have great value because of the influence they might have” on others.
Castro’s comments came during a colorful march by 400 advocates through the sweltering streets of the capital. The event is linked to the International Day Against Homophobia on Thursday.
Castro has predicted for years that Cuba’s parliament was on the verge of legalizing gay marriage, but it has yet to happen. She said she hoped legislators would finally follow through when they next meet in July.
Castro said her father had voiced support for the measure privately several times and indicated he was working behind the scenes in support of a reform of the island’s family law.
“It is surely part of his tactics and strategy; it is his style,” she said. “I am not going to pressure him to say things publicly, because I am more interested in concrete results.”