Cuba begins popular consultations on the Family Code

HAVANA (AP) — Cuba will begin this Tuesday popular consultations on the project of a Family Code to renew the existing one and adapt it to current living conditions. It includes, for example, same-sex marriage or gestation for another person.

Since its first public version last year, the initiative generated a reaction from evangelical churches and although its content was well received by activists from the gay community, they did not like that something they consider a right was put to a referendum.

The authorities indicated that during the three months that this first stage of consultation lasts –until April 30– there will be more than 78,000 meeting points so that citizens can express their point of view. A schedule of those meetings was not released. In addition, opinions, suggestions and questions about the project -it is on the internet pages of institutions and social networks- may be submitted in writing.

The consultative process will be in charge of the National Electoral Council (CNE).

For the month of July, it is expected that the People’s Power Assembly —the Parliament— will include the suggestions of this stage and call a referendum whose date has not yet been defined.

The new Family Code was drafted by a committee of some thirty experts, activists and officials indicated, and according to the Ministry of Justice, at the head of its configuration, it seeks to reflect the diversity of life, avoiding the conflicts and holes of the current one that It dates from 1975. It is also a product of the new Constitution approved in 2019, which included new generation rights not previously contemplated on the island.

This Code allows the establishment of premarital agreements to protect assets, punishes or contemplates gender violence as an element to distribute assets or other elements, authorizes parents to decide the order of the children’s surnames and eliminates the concept of parental authority by replacing it for parental responsibility.

What generated the most debate has to do with the incorporation of same-sex marriage and the rights that are opened up, such as the possibility of adopting and the possibility of so-called solidarity pregnancies –which should not be for profit– and by which gay couples can procreate.

“I think it’s a key moment for LGBT people,” Javier Machado, a sound engineer by profession, a proud member of that community and for whom the project is very advanced on several levels, told the AP on Tuesday. However, he regretted that these debates put “the focus” on same-sex marriage from the perspective of religious sectors that are making a strong activism against it.

For their part, for months, the Churches —especially evangelicals— have developed a strong campaign against the norm that included sermons from the pulpits, small posters and comments on social networks.

“We do not oppose the Family Code project because we hate homosexuals, but because they want to teach our children subjects that should only be taught by their parents,” wrote a person identified as Sandy Cancino on his social media page and that It was later spread by evangelical groups under the hashtag #SalvemosLaFamilia.


Andrea Rodríguez is on Twitter:

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