Cuba votes to Legalize same sex Marriage

"Love is now the law," says President Diaz-Canel

Cuba has legalized same-sex marriage, after Cubans voted in favor of an updated family code that rewrites the legal definition of “family” and ensures legal protection for minorities on the island.

The code gives gay couples the right to legally adopt children, allows surrogate pregnancies, broadens guardian rights for grandparents in regards to grandchildren, enshrines protection of the elderly, and introduces concrete measures against gender violence.

The president of the National Electoral Council, Alina Balseiro Gutiérrez, told local outlets that the changes had been approved by a vote of 66.9% to 33.1%, although a few places are yet to be counted. The 100-page referendum took a long time and went through multiple community-centred drafts before reaching its final stages. President Miguel Díaz-Canel said, “Most of our people will vote in favor of the code, but it still has issues that our society as a whole does not understand.”

The success of the referendum is due to strong engagement with LGBTQ+ activists in the country. However, the communist country faced resistance from conservatives and religious groups, despite an extensive government campaign in favor of the measure, including thousands of informative meetings across the country and extensive media coverage backing it.

The referendum is a celebration, and signals a hopeful start towards the right direction. President Diaz-Canel wrote on Twitter: “Love is now the law.” He added, “It is paying off a debt with several generations of Cuban men and women, whose family units have been waiting for this law for years. As of today, we will be a better nation.”