Cuba will vote on same-sex marriage despite opposition from the Catholic Church

On September 25, Cuba will put the draft Family Code to a popular referendum, a law that includes same-sex marriage and surrogacy. On the other side, Conference of Catholic Bishops of Cuba rejected this Monday several points of the project.

The project expands the rights of the LGTBIQ+ community, including the recognition of same-sex marriage, which is defined in the text as a union between two people. The new document aims to replace the Code, which has been in force since 1975. Its latest version, which reached number 25, was published in the Cuban Parliament’s Gazette on August 20 after being approved by the Assembly on July 22. The text was previously subject to a public consultation between the months of February and April this year, which, according to the official website of the Cuban government, was conducted with more than six million inhabitants (representing more than half of the population) and received a result of 62% approval.

The new document aims to replace the Code, which has been in force since 1975

“This standard is reached after a constant search for consensus and its aim is to consolidate the guarantee of all rights for all peopleas a reflection of the mandate of the 2019 Constitution, of the internal consistency of the code itself, with the rest of the nation’s legal system and with the international commitments that Cuba, on behalf of its people, has made,” said the statement published on the official website of the Cuban Parliament.The Family Code it offers alternatives, options and possibilities. It is an inclusive code that protects and reflects current Cuban society,” he adds.

A more egalitarian Cuba

The new text of the Family Code is divided into eleven titles and 474 articles, among which, in the first place, affection and solidarity are reinforced as axes on which family relations are based. Families are seen as a union of people linked by an emotional, sentimental and psychological bond, thus valuing love as a legal value and where gender is not distinguished.

Another point is the recognition of the right to care and emotional protection in a fair and just way, providing special support to women, who in most cases are responsible for the tasks related to care. Added to this is the economic value of working at home and the greater economic and inheritance protection of those who have devoted themselves and continue to devote themselves to this work.

On the other hand, they ask four types of commitment, among which are natural procreation, the legal act of adoption, the use of any technique for assisted reproduction, and the bonds that are built by socio-affectiveness that is legally recognized. This clause recognizes and judicially regulates multiple parentage from the birth of the girl or boy or later.

In the same sense they have sanctions through violence against people who are in a state of vulnerability, whether they are women, boys or girls or people with disabilities. To this end, supporting institutions such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities will be developed.

in the latter Assembling, which took place on July 22, where the final proposal was published. Several deputies and controversial, and even Homer Acostasecretary of the Assembly, supported the new code and were proud of the advancement of rights that this project means, not only from what it proposes, but also because of the method of approval that includes the Cuban people through a referendum.

“We will do it because sovereignly and in accordance with constitution that’s what we decided. We will do so because effective public participation is inherent in our political system. We will do it so that the people can once again and in the exercise of their sovereignty defined in the Constitution, express themselves freely. We will do it because the people have been, are and will be the main actors and decision-makers on the main issues of the nation. This will be a true exercise of people’s power,” Acosta noted in relation to the referendum, which will be voted on in December.

In turn, Deputy Mariela Castrodaughter of the leader Raul Castro and director of the National Center for Sexuality Education (CENESEX), who has been promoting the fight for the rights of the LGBTI community for more than three decades, described the moment as exciting and highlighted the progressive ideas being discussed. “These are complex issues that generate fear and controversy. But I really have to admit that as a society we have grown, we have enriched our heritage, our knowledge of law, of rights and especially in this case of family law,” he said.

IN Cuba is still marked by machismo and homophobia, whose government persecuted and marginalized homosexuals in the 1960s and 1970s, during the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista, same-sex marriage is an issue that continues to be debated. CENESEX previously promoted same-sex marriage in the proposed constitution approved in 2019, which enshrined the rights of this community. However, its inclusion in the new Magna Carta was delayed due to the strong rejection of the evangelical churches and other social sectors.

The Appeal of the Catholic Church

In a statement, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Cuba expressed this Monday that the introduction of the content of “gender ideology” into the legislation does not benefit Cuban families. “Marriage between a man and a woman, which is the natural basis of the family, cannot be displaced or deformed to make way for other legally constructed forms,” ​​the document states.

Likewise, they reject adoption by same-sex couples, multiple parenthood, the application of assisted human reproduction techniques to same-sex couples, and postmortem in vitro fertilizationa technique that allows the sperm of a deceased person to be used for fertilization.

“Every child is a gift and an end in itself; it is a child’s right to have a father and a mother. It is unethical the so-called the womb for nine months a child should be handed over immediately after birth to other people,” the statement said.

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