Cuba Legalizes Same Sex Marriage

By: Katlyn Phillips

Sept. 6th, 2022: Cuba legalized same sex marriage through their National Electoral Council. They passed a law called the New Family Code which helps to protect “women, children and the elderly, as well as allowing LGBTQ couples to marry and adopt children” (Oppmann, CNN).  This is a huge step in Cuban history and the history of LGBTQ community.

In the past people who were LGBTQ in Cuba often were subjected to discrimination. As well as when Fidel Castro was in power around the 1960’s there were cases of gay people being sent to work camps set up by the government. In 1979 homosexuality became legal but many people were still being discriminated and hurt for their sexuality. The daughter of Fidel Castro was one of the main supporters and advocates during this time. Even with her support she was pushed by both the inside and outside of Cuban government.

There was a time in 2018 where the rights for people in the LGBTQ community involving same sex marriage. Unfortunately, it was not passed due to “fears that a homophobic backlash would have lowered turnout for a referendum to approve a new constitution” (Oppmann, CNN).  Police in Cuba would use force to break up peaceful rallies and protests. Cuba’s past with supporting LGBTQ rights and people has been rocky and forceful.

The Cuban government played a huge part in the passing of the new family code. They originally were against approving the code and giving more rights to gay men and woman. But they eventually only weeks before the referendum – which is general vote on one specific question – held a press conference giving full support in passing the bill. The government felt that it was time to adapt to the modern age. This code passing will help to decrease violence and discrimination in Cuba involving the LGBTQ community. As well as giving normal lives to all the gay men and woman living on the island of Cuba.

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