Cubans vote in a referendum on a new family law that includes same-sex marriage

Cubans today began voting in a referendum on new family law, which includes advanced social rights, including same-sex marriage and pregnancy for the benefit of others.

The polling stations, which number around 24,000, were opened at 7:00 local time (11:00 GMT) and closed at 18:00 (22:00 GMT).

More than eight million Cubans were asked to answer a single question “Do you agree with family law?”

The country’s president, Miguel Diaz-Cantel, voted in advance with his wife in Western Havana, saying that family law was “just, necessary and modern, conferring rights and guarantees”.

The new law, which profoundly modifies the previous 1975 text, defines marriage as a union “between two people”, which legalizes same-sex marriage and adoptions for these people.

The law also strengthens the rights of children, the elderly and people with special needs, and also provides for the possibility of recognizing more fathers and mothers alongside biological parents, as well as pregnancy for the benefit of others with no material purpose.

Many of these issues remain sensitive in Cuba, where patriarchy remains dominant in society and the Communist government renounced homosexuals in the 1960s and 1970s. However, the attitude of the authorities towards homosexuals has seen a remarkable development in the last twenty years.

Only seven countries have legalized same-sex marriage in Latin America and some states in Mexico. As for pregnancy for the benefit of others, it is only allowed in two Mexican states.

In 2019, the Cuban government tried to allow same-sex marriage, but overturned it amidst criticism from the Catholic and Evangelical churches.

In the last phase, the Council of Bishops of Cuba underlined in several articles its opposition to the homosexual adoption of children, to pregnancy for the benefit of others and to the possibility of recognizing more fathers and mothers.-

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