Cubans approve of same-sex marriage and a progressive family code

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Cubans approve same-sex marriage and a progressive family code

Cubans voted 66% in favor of the new family code on Sunday. Turnout was 74%, down from 90% in the 2019 referendum for the new Constitution.

Cubans voted more than 66% in a referendum to approve a new progressive family code that legalizes same-sex marriage, surrogacy and extended parentage.

The text approved on Sunday was widely supported by the communist government and the yes vote has been the subject of an intense official campaign in recent weeks, in the streets, on television and on the networks. social.

The yes received 66.87% of the vote, against 33.13% of the vote for the no. This is the highest percentage of negative votes ever achieved in a referendum, according to almost final results announced Monday by the National Electoral Council (CEN).

The Family Code has been approved by the people, said its president, Alina Balseiro.

“The "yes" won. Justice has been served […]. It is about settling a debt to several generations of Cubans, whose family projects have been waiting for this law for years.

— Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel on Twitter

Turnout stood at 74.01%, according to the electoral authority, which still had to validate the results in around thirty constituencies.

This rate is down from the previous 2019 referendum on the new Constitution, approved by 86.85% of voters with a turnout of 90.15%.

The "yes&quot ; won by a lower score compared to other elections but by a really large margin, underlined Arturo Lopez-Levy, a Cuban political scientist at Holy Names University in California.

The new code, which on Monday replaces the previous one, which dates from 1975, legalizes homosexual marriage and authorizes homoparental adoption.

It reinforces the rights of children, people the elderly and the disabled and introduces the possibility of legally recognizing several fathers and mothers, in addition to the biological parents. It allows non-profit surrogacy.

Saily Ramirez, a 31-year-old executive assistant, welcomed the passage of the new law.

“In my family, I have different cases related to the [family] code. I have a cousin who couldn't get pregnant and I would have liked to be her “surrogate” at this moment.

— Saily Ramirez

Cuba, where the government ostracized gay people in the 1960s and 1970s before making amends, now has the most progressive text in history. x27;Latin America.

We won! Cuba has its family code. Now it's about enforcing it, gay activist Maykel Gonzalez Vivero tweeted.

The poll was held as this country of 11, 2 million inhabitants are going through a deep economic crisis and facing record emigration.

More than a year ago, in July 2021, historic protests to cries of We are hungry! and Freedom! had also shaken the island.

President Diaz-Canel acknowledged on Sunday that for such complex issues, where there is a diversity of personal criteria, and in an economic context difficult, people can have a sanction vote.

As a result of the protests in July 2021, around 500 people were sentenced, sometimes up to 25 years in prison.

Opponents of the government were also divided over the new law, some supporting the text while distancing themselves from power, others calling for voting against or abstaining.

For dissident Manuel Cuesta Morua, this vote should not be interpreted as support for the regime.

“Many community activists LGBT want profound change and saw an […] almost unique opportunity to advance certain rights.

—Manuel Cuesta Morua, Cuban dissident

The total of votes against and abstentions is almost equal to, if not greater than, the total of those who voted “Yes,” he added.

The U.S. Embassy in Havana hailed on Twitter the decision of the Cuban people in favor of equal marriage and equal marriage. #x27; adoption for all. But that does not change the undemocratic nature of the Cuban regime. The Cuban people deserve to have all their human rights respected, she added.

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