Social Issues

Cuba votes to legalize same-sex marriage

Havana, Sep 26 (EFE).- Cubans have voted in favor of a new Family Code, a package of measures that includes same-sex marriage, surrogate pregnancies and adoption of children by gay couples, the National Electoral Council (CEN) said Monday.

A total of 3,936,790 people, 66.87 percent of the total, cast a “yes” vote, while 1,950,000, or 33.13 percent, voted “no” in Sunday’s referendum, CEN President Alida Balseiro said, adding that the abstention rate was 25.01 percent, a record high for a referendum in Cuba.

It also is notable for being the plebiscite in which the option backed by the Cuban government had the least amount of public support.

A video uploaded Monday morning to the Cuban presidency’s Twitter account showed the country’s head of state, Miguel Diaz-Canel, applauding when learning of the outcome of the referendum during a meeting on preparations for Hurricane Ian, whose center is expected to pass near or over western Cuba on Monday night and early Tuesday.

The referendum on the new 100-page Family Code, which replaces the previous statute in place since 1975, was the third overall since the triumph of the Cuban Revolution in 1959 and the first to be held on a specific law.

Besides allowing same-sex marriage and surrogate pregnancies, the new Family Code allows same-sex couples to adopt children, bans child marriage and includes measures against gender violence.

Before the National Assembly of People’s Power (unicameral parliament) passed the Family Code in July, ordinary Cubans were consulted on the proposed legislation at 79,000 meetings held in neighborhoods and municipalities between February and April.

A simple majority was required to approve the law. EFE


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