With nearly 67% of votes in favor, Cubans have said a massive “yes” to reforming the Family Code, making the island state the 34th country to approve same-sex marriage in the world.
The referendum aimed at promulgating a new Family Code - the most progressive ever seen on the island - collected 66.87% favorable votes, according to the final results announced on September 26, 2022 by the National Electoral Council.
Participation was also massive, standing at 74.01% of those registered.
The new code – repealing the previous one which dated from 1975 – now legalizes same-sex marriage, authorizes the adoption of children by same-sex couples, and gives the green light to surrogacy for all couples.
The text, widely supported by the government, now defines marriage as “the union of two people,” and introduces the possibility of recognizing fathers and mothers other than the biological parents.
“Justice has been served. […] It is a question of settling a debt towards several generations of Cubans, whose family projects have been waiting for this law for years,” rejoiced Miguel Diaz-Canel, the Cuban head of state. “Starting today we will be a better nation,” he added.
Results that are hardly surprising, given the media hype organized by the executive several weeks before the election: promotional spots on radio and television, billboards touting “diversity,” demonstrations in favor of “yes,” nothing was left to chance – with taxpayers' money – to influence the choice of voters.
Until Fidel Castro's own niece, Mariela Castro, put all her weight in the balance to ensure the triumph of a reform against which this time Church has, this time, been unable to do anything. In 2018 and 2019 the episcopate had managed to push back the power on a first project to recognize same-sex marriage, denounced as part of “ideological colonialism.”
The policy of state atheism, implemented by Fidel Castro from 1959 to the 1990s, still has a lasting influence, allowing the accelerated secularization of the island state: in 2015, while 60% of Cubans declared themselves Catholic, only 5% practice the faith of their baptism...