14ymedio, Havana, 25 December 2018 — Since the content of Article 68 was revealed in the preliminary draft of the constitutional reform project, the most active groups of the LGBTI community showed their support for the definition of marriage — the union between two people without specifying gender — contained in the text. The activists saw in this inclusion a step to achieve egalitarian unions, an long-standing demand of this group in Cuba.
In October of this year, the Proyecto Abriendo Brechas de Colores (Opening Color Gaps Project) called for a public demonstration in favor of equal marriage under the name “Take your kisses out of the closet.” The initiative was a response to the evangelical churches that rejected Article 68, but ultimately the organizers canceled the “kiss-in” under the argument that it could harm “the very project” they were trying to promote.
The confrontation between both tendencies was also expressed in posters and memes published on social networks. Since last June, posters have appeared in defense of the “original design of the family, as God created it” and against equal marriage on the facades of homes in several provinces of the country and in public spaces.
The LGBTI community and defenders of the island’s sexual rights responded with posters with more inclusive definitions of the concept of family and promotional videos with the message of “an original design of Cuban families” and “all rights for all families.”
The Metropolitan Community Church (ICM) in Cuba, known for its involvement in the recognition of sexual diversity, criticized the position of the evangelical denominations that rejected Article 68 and reminded that God is “polyamorous and radically inclusive.”
The news of the elimination of Article 68 in the revised Constitution fell like a bucket of cold water among the advocates of equal marriage who saw the decision as a step backwards.
The journalist Francisco Rodríguez Cruz, who runs the blog Paquito el de Cuba, reacted with annoyance. “Neither between man and woman nor between two people: the Constitution will not say what marriage is. Future Law will do it,” he detailed on Facebook. “To put it finely: put your marriage where it suits you!” added the activist.
Mariela Castro, director of the National Center for Sex Education (Cenesex) said that the new Article 82 “erases the binaryism of gender and heteronormativity with which marriage was defined in the 1976 Constitution,” so “there is no setback, the essence of Article 68 is maintained, the struggle continues, now let’s give a YES to the Constitution.”
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