A large majority of Cuban voters on
Sunday approved a new family code that extends marriage and adoption
rights to gay and lesbian couples.
According to Granma,
the Cuban Communist Party's official news outlet, 66.9 percent of
voters approved the new family code.
The Cuban government removed a marriage
equality amendment from the island nation's new constitution approved
by voters in 2018. Religious groups had publicly criticized the
inclusion of the amendment.
Mariela Castro, the daughter of former
Communist Party chief Raul Castro and the director of Cuba's National
Center for Sex Education, a state-funded agency that promotes LGBTQ
rights, pushed for inclusion of the same-sex marriage amendment. On
Sunday, she posted a photo of herself on social media voting for the
new family code in the Cuban capital of Havana.
“I voted yes for Cuban families, for
a socialist Cuba, for the world’s most revolutionary and humanist
family code, for a socialist state built upon rights and social
justice that recognizes and protects all families,” said Castro.
Castro's work as an LGBTQ rights
activist is profiled in the HBO documentary Mariela
Castro's March: Cuba's LGBT Revolution.
Under Fidel Castro's regime, gay and
bisexual men and women were considered “ideological deviants” and
were often jailed. The government at one time also held Cubans with
HIV/AIDS in camps.