Officials announced on Monday that Cubans had approved a broad “family law” code that would redefine the rights of children and grandparents as well as permit same-sex marriage and adoption. However, opposition to the measure was unusually strong on the Communist Party-run island.
The measure, which consists of more than 400 articles, was approved by a vote of 66.9% to 33.1%, according to Alina Balseiro Gutiérrez, president of the National Electoral Council, though some ballots had yet to be counted.
Despite an extensive government campaign in favor of the measure, which included thousands of educational meetings across the nation and extensive media coverage backing it, the reforms had encountered unusually strong open resistance from the growing evangelical movement in Cuba — and many other Cubans.
Elections in Cuba, where only the Communist Party is permitted, frequently result in victory margins of more than 90%, as was the case with a referendum on a significant constitutional reform in 2019.
The code would permit surrogate pregnancies, give grandparents more parental rights regarding their grandchildren, safeguard the elderly, and take action against gender violence.
As he cast his vote on Sunday, President Miguel Daz-Canel, who has supported the law, acknowledged concerns about it.
The majority of our citizens will support the code, but it still has problems that our society as a whole cannot comprehend, he claimed.
He tweeted on Monday in jubilation of the law’s passage, “Love is now the law.”
He continued, “Passage is to pay a debt to different generations of Cubans whose domestic plans had been waiting years for this law.” “We will be a better country as of today.”
After years of discussion about such reforms, the National Assembly, the parliament of Cuba, approved the measure.
Mariela Castro, director of the National Center for Sex Education, an advocate for the rights of same-sex couples, niece of former president Raul Castro, and a major supporter of the legislation.