Cuba says 'yes' to marriage equality and adoptions for same-sex couples

66.87% of people in Cuba voted in favour of introducing marriage equality, surrogacy and adoptions for same-sex couples in a referendum.

A Pride march in Cuba, which introduced marriage equality and adoptions for same-sex couples.
Image: Via Twitter - @isentinelli

Following a historic referendum held on September 26, Cuba has approved one of the most progressive codes in the world to protect women’s and LGBTQ+ rights. The Family Code passed in Cuba, therefore introducing marriage equality and legalising surrogacy and adoptions for same-sex couples.

President of the National Electoral Council Alina Balseiro Gutiérrez announced today that 66.87% of people in Cuba, more than 3.9 million, voted in favour of the reform to the Family Code, while only 33.13% said no. Balseiro Gutiérrez said that, although the count is yet to be completed, these results are “valid and irreversible”.

Voting started on September 26 at 7am Havana time and, while it should have officially ended at 6pm on the same day, it was reported that some people were allowed to vote even later.

The referendum was announced earlier this year by the country’s national assembly and it followed a lengthy round of public consultations to discuss the possibility to introduce more inclusive legislation in the country. This represents a historic day for the country, as the Cuban population has just approved one of the most inclusive and progressive texts on family law in the world.

The extensive text of the Family Code reforms the previous family legislation in Cuba by introducing marriage equality and legalising adoptions and surrogacy for same-sex couples. Moreover, it also includes provisions that address gender violence and the prohibition of child marriage, granting greater protections for children and women’s rights.

In a video published on Twitter by the official account of the Cuban Presidency, President Miguel Díaz-Canel is shown as he applauds when learning the results of the referendum. He had previously spoken about the vote, saying: “Most of our people will vote in favor of the code, but it still has issues that our society as a whole does not understand”.

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