In a landslide victory for gay rights, gay marriage has been legalised in Cuba. Part of a new ‘family code’ intended to give improved rights to minorities on the island, people in same-sex relationships can now get married, as well as adopt children together.
Additionally, greater protections will be given to other vulnerable groups such as women, children and the elderly.
As recently as 2018, Cuban legislators abandoned plans to move towards legalising same-sex marriage, for fear of backlash from evangelical communities. In just three years things have come a long way, with 94% of the votes counted as of 9 am ET on Monday morning showing 3,936,790 had voted in favour of the law, and 1,950,090 against.
74.1% of those eligible to cast their ballot in the referendum, which took place on Sunday, turned up to vote.
President Miguel Díaz-Canel, who has widely promoted the law, acknowledged that there were still questions about the family code, as he cast his vote on Sunday.
“Most of our people will vote in favour of the code, but it still has issues that our society as a whole does not understand,” he said.
The family code would allow for improved measures against gender violence, better rights for grandparents in regard to their grandchildren, and the freedom for surrogate pregnancies.
One prominent figure who has supported the measure is Mariela Castro, the director of the National Center for Sex Education and daughter of former president Raúl Castro.
“I voted yes for Cuban families, for a socialist Cuba, for the world’s most revolutionary and humanist family code, for a socialist state built upon rights and social justice that recognizes and protects all families,” said Mariela, after casting her vote.
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