26 November, 2022

“families code”: Cuba takes same-sex marriage to controversial referendum this Sunday

Cuba holds a referendum this Sunday, 25 September the Family Code, a legislative package that includes same-sex marriage and surrogacy, in an unusual vote, controversial and of uncertain outcome.

Editorial Dept. Voz de la Diaspora

Cuba – The National Electoral Commission (CEN) of Cuba assures that everything is prepared for the good development of the consultation. More than eight million Cubans are called to the polls in some 24.000 electoral colleges.

Cuba holds a referendum this Sunday, 25 September the Family Code, a legislative package that includes same-sex marriage and surrogacy, in an unusual vote, controversial and of uncertain outcome.

The text, which replaces a regulation of 1975, contemplates marriage between people of the same sex and the possibility that they adopt.

The norm also regulates “solidarity” pregnancy, the responsibility of parents with their children and the care of the elderly. This, in addition to prohibiting child marriage and addressing gender-based violence.

The Cuban Government and all State structures have turned to the campaign for the "yes", including the National Electoral Commission (CEN) and the Supreme Court, with continuous messages for weeks in official media and social networks.

They argue that the code meets the current reality of Cuban families, expands rights and better protects minors, greater, people with disabilities and vulnerable groups.

He does not", meanwhile, has not had an articulated campaign or presence in the official media. In social networks activists and some institutions and groups have advocated abstention or rejection of the law.

Their opposition is sometimes rejection of the content, and particularly that homosexuals can marry and adopt. This is the case of the Catholic Church, who recently criticized these points in a statement from the Episcopal Conference and asked to vote "in conscience".

Ilustrative Photo – courtesy

But the rejection is also political. Opponents, dissidents and activists assure that they will abstain or vote against because they consider that the "yes" entails the legitimization of the communist political system with which they do not agree.

The opposition and former Cuban political prisoner Marta Beatriz Roque explained that if she could vote - her civil rights are suspended due to a conviction- I would opt for abstention.

“I am neither for yes nor for no, not for anything, because I know the dictatorship, I know how it works and I am convinced that at this time we already know what the result of this plebiscite is going to be”, argues.

Some NGOs have highlighted the doubts raised by this consultation, as is the case of Electoral Transparency.

your principal, Dear Leandro, criticized in an interview that it has been a campaign without "guarantees". He added that election day does not have international observers and that, no “cross checks”, the results will be “unverifiable”.

The exercise aims to be the end of a years-long process. It started with the drafting of the Constitution of 2019 and concluded with the approval of the twenty-fifth version of the Family Code in the National Assembly (unicameral parliament) in July, After three months of popular consultation and 79.000 meetings with citizens in neighborhoods and municipalities.