On September 25, Cuba will put the draft family code, a law that includes same-sex marriage and surrogacy, to a popular referendum. On the other hand, the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Cuba rejected, this Monday, several points of the project.
The project extends the rights of the LGTBIQ+ communitybetween them, the recognition of same-sex marriage, which is referred to in the text as the union between two people. The new document intends to replace the Code in force since 1975. Its latest version, which reached number 25, was published in the Cuban Parliament Gazette on August 20, after being approved by the Assembly on July 22. Previously, The text was submitted to a popular consultation between February and April of this year, which, according to the official page of the Cuban government, was conducted among more than six million inhabitants. (representing more than half of the population) and an approval score of 62 percent was achieved.
“This rule is reached after a permanent search for consensus, and its objective is to consolidate the guarantee of all rights for all people, as a reflection of the mandate of the 2019 Constitution, of the internal coherence of the Code itself , with the rest of the nation’s legal system and with the international commitments that Cuba, in the name of its people, has assumed”, expresses the statement published on the official page of the Cuban parliament. “The Family Code offers alternatives, opportunities and options. It is an inclusive, protective and reflective Code of current Cuban society”he adds.
A more equal Cuba
The new text of the Family Code is divided into eleven titles and 474 articles, of which it reinforces, in the first place, affection and solidarity as the axes on which family relations are based. The family is seen as the union of people linked by an affective, sentimental and psychological bond, thus valuing affection as a legal value and where gender is not distinguished.
Another point is the recognition of the right to care and emotional protection, in a fair and equitable manner, granting special support to women who are, in most cases, those who are in charge of care tasks. In addition to this, the economic value of working from home and greater economic and asset protection for those who have devoted themselves and continue to devote themselves to this work are available.
On another side, Four types of filiation are established, including natural procreation, the legal act of adoption, the use of any assisted procreation technique and the links that are built from the socio-affective, which is legally recognized. This point recognizes and legally regulates multi-parenting either from the birth of the girl or the boy, or later.
In the same way, Sanctions for domestic violence are provided for people in a state of vulnerability, whether they are women, boys or girls or people with disabilities. For this, supporting institutions such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities would be developed.
During the last Assembly, which took place on July 22, where the final proposal was published, several deputies and contestants, and even Homero Acosta, Secretary of the Assembly, were in favor of the new Code and proud of the advancement of the rights that this project means, not only of what it proposes, but also of the method of approval that includes the Cuban people through a referendum.
“We will do it, because sovereignly and in respect of the Constitution, we have decided it. We will do this because effective popular participation is intrinsic to our political system. We will do so, so that the people once again and, in the exercise of their sovereignty defined in the Constitution, express themselves freely. We will do this because the people have been, are and will be the protagonists and decision makers of the fundamental issues of the nation. It will be a real exercise of people power.remarked Acosta about the referendum which will be voted in December.
For its part, Deputy Mariela Castro, daughter of leader Raúl Castro and director of the National Center for Sexual Education (CENESEX), which has been promoting the fight for the rights of the LGBTI community for more than three decades, described this moment as exciting and underlined advanced ideas they were dealing with. “These are complex issues that generate fear and contradiction. But I really have to recognize that as a society we have grown, we have enriched our heritage, our knowledge of law, of rights, and especially in this case of family law,” he said.
In a Cuba still marked by machismo and homophobia, whose government persecuted and marginalized homosexuals in the 1960s and 1970s under the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista, same-sex marriage is an issue that continues to be debated. CENESEX previously promoted same-sex marriage in the proposed Constitution approved in 2019, which enshrines the rights of this community. However, its inclusion in the new Magna Carta was postponed due to strong rejection from evangelical churches and other social sectors.
The Complaint of the Catholic Church
In a statement, the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Cuba expressed this Monday that the introduction into the legislation of the content of “gender ideology” does not benefit Cuban families. “Marriage between a man and a woman, which is the natural basis of the family, cannot be displaced or distorted to make way for other legally constructed forms,” the document states.
Likewise, they reject adoption by same-sex couples, multi-parenting, the application of assisted procreation techniques to same-sex couples and post-mortem in vitro fertilization, a technique which makes it possible to use the sperm of a person who died for fertilization.
“Every child is a gift and an end in itself; it is the right of the child to have a father and a mother. It is unethical for so-called ‘solidarity gestation’ to be recognized as appropriate , in which a woman carrying in her uterus for nine months, a child must be handed over immediately after birth to other persons,” the statement said.
Report: Sophie Troiano