Cuba could have marriage equality in 2022


LGBTI+ march in Cuba. (Photo by Yariel Valdés González/Tremenda Nota)

Editor’s note: Tremenda Nota is the
Washington Blade’s media partner in Cuba. The Blade published the original
version of this article on
its website
on Dec. 20.

HAVANA — Justice
Minister Oscar Silvera Martínez on Dec. 18 announced the Family Code, the law
that could establish marriage equality in Cuba, will not be introduced in the
National Assembly until December 2021 when one of the parliamentary commissions
will be in session.

Martínez presented an expected work agenda for the coming years, including two
special sessions in addition to those that are normally scheduled, to approve
the roughly 40 laws currently before the current legislature.

to the Trabajadores newspaper, the minister said the process will be difficult,
“not only because of the number of rules that must be approved now and in
the coming years, but because of our people’s expectations.”

The marriage provision was the most debated part of the constitution the National Assembly approved a year ago and put to a referendum in February. Lawmakers decided to postpone the debate (on marriage equality) for two years.

“The commission proposes to defer the concept of marriage, that is, to leave the proposed constitution, as a way of respecting all opinions,” said a tweet published on the National Assembly’s official Twitter account.

Article 68, which defined marriage as “the union between two people,” was substituted by the technical notion of marriage. One of the new constitution’s transitional provisions finally set a two-year deadline and another referendum on the Family Code, the law that will establish if LGBTI+ couples can join under Cuban law.

Mariela Castro during an interview with a Basque newspaper revealed the government felt pressured by the propaganda of various evangelical churches who oppose marriage equality.

“Groups of religious fundamentalists are trying to blackmail the Cuban government with they are not going to vote in favor of the constitution if Article 68 related to marriage between two people remains part of it,” declared the assemblywoman and director of the National Center for Sexual Education (CENESEX).

A few days
after the referendum and in contradiction to the National Assembly’s position
there was no public consensus around same-gender unions, a report on an
official survey with favorable results on the LGBTI+ community’s aspirations
was published.

investigation, done in 2016, found 77 percent of Cuba’s adult population
considers people, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity,
should have the same rights.

Castro at the time told Tremenda Nota there was no explanation as to why the
National Assembly did not use these statistics as an argument to keep Article

Luis Ángel
Adán Roble, the only openly gay Cuban assemblyman, told Tremenda Nota the
survey “was a wasted tool.” He also criticized the methodology lawmakers
used to reject Article 68.  

Adán Roble
last November resigned from the National Assembly after he publicly challenged
CENESEX Deputy Director Manuel Vázquez Seijido on social media.

LGBTI+ unions could be legalized in 2022 if the
Family Code has an inclusive marriage proposal and if the National Assembly
finally approves it in December 2021.

Published at Tue, 24 Dec 2019 14:00:26 +0000