Evangelical Cuban churches are uniting against a proposed amendment to the constitution that will allow same-sex marriage.
The Communist Party-run country has organized meetings to redraft the country’s Soviet-era constitution. While it’s unclear which aspects the party will allow, Article 68 has attracted the most attention.
The amendment will redefine matrimony as gender neutral. However, evangelical churches are fighting back by collecting signatures. 21 different denominations have now signed.
Speaking at a Methodist Church in Havana, NBC News reports Pastor Lester Fernandez, 39, said: ‘We do not in any way approve Article 68… because the Bible condemns it.’
The petition has garnered a cross-denominational support
They have also covered their churches in posters with the symbol for a man and a woman, with the words ‘original family design, just as God created it’.
Cuba’s churches have a lot more autonomy and influence than most other non-Communist Party groups.
The proposed changes to the constitution would make the article read ‘the consensual union of two people, regardless of gender.’ This differs from the original definition of marriage in Cuba as the ‘voluntary union between a man and woman.’
While there’s strong opposition to same-sex marriage, Mariela Castro, daughter of Communist Party chief Raul Castro, has come out in support.
She’s often promoted LGBTI rights in the country.
The President, Miguel Diaz, too, spoke out in support of the change. In a televised interview, he said: ’the approach of recognizing marriage between two people, without limitations, responds to a problem of eliminating all types of discrimination in society’.
The National Assembly has approved the draft constitution. It’s now up to Cuban citizens to cast their vote in February.