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Cuban draft constitution paves the way for gay marriage

Cuban draft constitution paves the way for gay marriage

Cuba could suddenly find itself a leader in terms of LGBTI rights, if its new constitution passes.

Homero Acosta, the country’s secretary of the council of state, said a new draft constitution defined marriage as being between two individuals, rather than between a man and a woman.

‘The possibility of marriage between two people strengthens our project’s principles of equality and justice,’ Acosta told lawmakers, according to Reuters.

Mariela Castro in 2010, fighting for LGBTI rights in Cuba
Mariela Castro in 2010, fighting for LGBTI rights in Cuba. | Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Cuba had a poor record of supporting LGBTI rights during the early days of Fidel Castro’s reign. Thousands of homosexuals ended up in labor camps after the 1959 revolution. However Fidel Castro later apologised for his country’s institutionalized homophobia.

Mariela Castro, the daughter of former leader Raul Castro, has championed LGBTI rights in recent times. She heads a sex education centre in Havana and is a keen supporter of the draft constitution.

The national assembly is debating the draft constitution for approval this weekend, Reuters reported. It will pass through further ‘popular consultation’ and a national referendum will vote on the final draft.

LGBTI rights battle not over yet

LGBTI rights campaigners in the Communist-run country cautiously welcomed the move, but said the battle wasn’t over yet.

‘We will continue in the streets until the final process of the constitutional reform,’ Reuters quoted LGBTI rights activist, Isbel Diaz Torres as saying.

‘And after the constitutional modification has been approved, we must ensure that same sex marriage is approved.’

The same sex marriage proposals have become the most debated element of the new draft constitution. Campaigners for and against gay marriage in Cuba have led vocal advertising and social media campaigns.

Religious groups took to social media to declare marriage ‘exclusively the union of a man and a woman, according to the bible’.

Churches put up anti-gay marriage posters in neighbourhoods, while LGBTI rights campaigners countered with their own posters.

See also:

Romania grants residence rights to same-sex married couples

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