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REUTERS Stringer.
REUTERS Stringer.
REUTERS Stringer
REUTERS Stringer
World News

Cuba publishes draft family code that opens door to gay marriage

by Reuters Journalist

Cuba has published a draft of a new family code that would open the door to gay marriage if approved,.

The new code defines marriage as the "voluntary union of two people" without specifying gender, as opposed to the current definition as the "union of a man and woman."

The draft still needs to go to a grassroots debate and will then be amended to take into account citizens' opinions before going to a referendum. 

LGBT+ activists say the Government should not have stipulated a referendum on what are fundamental human rights. The Government says it wants to build rather than force acceptance of change.

In 2018 the Government decided to withdraw an amendment to Cuba's new constitution that would have opened the door to same-sex unions after campaigning by evangelical churches.

Cuba, which sent gay people to correctional labor camps in the early years after its 1959 revolution, made considerable changes to LGBT+ rights in the 2000s and 2010s. 

The island nation introduced the right to free sex reassignment surgery, banned workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and started holding annual marches against homophobia - Cuba's equivalent of gay pride.

Many members of the LGBT+ community say they have been frustrated by a slowdown in the pace of change in recent years while a handful of other Latin American countries have approved gay marriage.

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