Cuba's Roman Catholic Church has called on Cubans to reject a proposal to legalize same-sex marriage in the nation's new constitution.

In July, the National Assembly approved a draft constitution that would allow gay and lesbian couples to marry in Cuba. The public will weigh in through a consultation to be held later this year.

Santiago de Cuba Archbishop Dionisio Garcia described the proposal as “ideological colonialism” impose by rich nations, according to the AP.

Garcia called on Cubans not to “ignore what nature has given us” and predicted “regrettable consequences” if gay couples are allowed to marry.

Rich countries, Garcia said, were using their power to “influence less developed countries in need of economic aid.”

The constitutional change is being spearheaded by Deputy Mariela Castro, the daughter of Communist Party chief Raul Castro and the head of Cuba's National Center for Sex Education.

(Related: Mariela Castro leads LGBT march in Havana recognizing IDAHOT.)

NBC News previously reported that churches are working to derail the proposal, plastering posters in neighborhoods that read, “I am in favor of the original design – the family as God created it.”