The Cuban government is considering the adoption of a new family code, which could potentially pave the way for same-sex couples to marry. However, this proposal must first undergo a comprehensive review process before any final decisions are made.
Marriage in Cuba is currently defined as “the union of a man and woman.” But, the proposed family code will define marriage as “the voluntary union of two people” without specifying gender.
The LGBTQ community of Cuba was thrilled to hear that marriage might soon be a possibility for them, but they’re not going into this with open arms just yet.
The government has indeed planned a popular debate on the issue, and then amendments will be made to consider the conclusions of this debate. Finally, the Cuban government will hold a referendum on legalizing same-sex marriage.
The fact that the government is going through a popular referendum rather than introducing legislation in parliament means LGBTQ rights activists fear they will give in to pressure from various legal family institutions as well as religious and conservatives groups. It must be said we have seen in 2018 Cuba’s evangelical groups objected with an intense campaign, which resulted in removing the constitutional proposal legalizing same-sex marriage.
I’m so happy to see that Cuba is considering a change in its family code. I hope this attempt will be the right one because it’s true. Just a few years ago, we saw such progress with LGBTQ rights in Cuba - including banning discrimination based on sexual orientation at work, then having open access for transgender people who want sex reassignment surgery (and even organizing first Pride Marches!). And now things have gone back downhill again... Cuba has fallen behind other Latin American countries that have made a lot of progress in recent years, but perhaps now Cuba will catch up.