Marriage Equality Eliminated From the Constitutional Reform Project

Cuba’s Family Code will determine who can marry, as this issue has been dropped from the constitutional reform. (David Himbert)

14ymedio biggerEFE via 14ymedio, Havana, December 19, 2018 — The commission preparing the draft of the new Cuban Constitution eliminated the article that would open the door to gay marriage, after the opposition to this matter that surfaced during the popular debates on the reform of the Constitution, which have been taking place for the past three months.

“The Commission proposes deferring the concept of marriage, that is to say, that it has been removed from the Project of the Constitution, as a way of respecting all opinions. Marriage is a social and legal institution. The law will define the rest of the elements,” reported the Cuban Parliament on its Twitter account.

#ConsultaPopular #Cuba adds a chapter only for the family, where legal and current ties are recognized, and the right of each citizen to start a family, without distinction to their nature. #ReformaConstitucional #HacemosCuba @DiazCanelB @anamarianpp — AsambleaNacionalCuba (@AsambleaCuba) 18 de diciembre de 2018  

The initial proposal aimed to change the concept of marriage that appears in the current Constitution (1976), where it is defined as the union between a man and a woman, a meaning that it proposed placing with “union between two persons with the legal capacity for it,” without specifying gender.

This change of direction was made known this Tuesday during the commissions prior to the plenary session of the National Assembly on Friday, in which it is anticipated that the constitutional draft, to which has been added suggestions received from citizens during the process of debating the text, will be submitted to a vote.

According to the account of the Assembly on the Twitter, in the new Constitution “a chapter is added only for the family, where legal and current ties are recognized, and the right of each citizen to start a family, without distinction to their nature.”

Via this means, the Cuban Parliament also specified that “in the Family Code it will have to be established who can be subjects of marriage” and a popular consultation and referendum will be held “within a period of two years from a proposed transitional provision in the project itself.”

The constitutional modification that would have supported a future law of gay marriage had opened an intense debate in Cuba, with campaigns in favor by the LGTB community but also against from the Catholic and evangelical churches, the latter of which have more and more followers on the Island.

In accordance with the report that the secretary of the Council of State of Cuba, Homero Acosta, gave to the deputies yesterday, that article (number 68 of the constitutional draft) was the one most tackled in the popular consultation, considering that it came up in 66% of the meetings.

192,408 opinions on the matter were gathered, of which 158,376 proposed “substituting the proposal with what is currently in force” (the definition of marriage as the union between man and woman).

The draft of the new Constitution will be voted on in the National Assembly of People’s Power this Friday, and once approved will be submitted to national referendum on February 24.

The proposed text, which doesn’t incorporate changes to the political system, recognizes private property, eliminates references to communism, and establishes the position of prime minister, among other changes.

The constitutional Commission that prepared the initial draft and that has modified it introducing some of the proposals made by Cubans during the popular debate is headed by the ex-president and leader of the Communist Party of Cuba, Raúl Castro.

Translated by: Sheilagh Carey


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