HAVANA — Mariela Castro, a Cuban lawmaker and daughter of Communist Party chief Raul Castro, says she will push for gay marriage to be included in a constitutional reform process expected to begin in July.

The reform is expected to encompass a wide range of modernizing changes to Cuba's 1976 constitution, which was designed for a Soviet-style command economy. The communist government has been slowly introducing market reforms and trying to encourage more interaction with the global economy.

Homosexuality was persecuted in the years after the 1959 revolution led by the Castro family but Cuba has ended anti-gay policies and forbidden workplace discrimination. Mariela Castro has become a prominent gay rights activist.

She told reporters Friday that she would ask that the new charter and accompanying laws allow gay marriage.