US Approves Same-Sex Marriage, When will Cuba?

Fernando Ravsberg*

comunidad-lgbti-eeuuHAVANA TIMES — The recent approval of same-sex marriage in the US shows that the courts to the north are much more progressive than the members of the Cuban Parliament, which for a decade has been sitting on the new Family Code because it would recognize the right to same-sex union (not even marriage).

Hats off to such a breakthrough in the US and what it means for the dignity of the LGBTI community there and my sadness because in Cuba, the country where I live, prejudice persists among members of the National Assembly, which supposedly should fight all types of discrimination.

Maybe things would be very different if debates in the Cuban parliament were public and we could learn who are the legislators boycotting the new Family Code.

In a related matter, Mariela Castro, the daughter of the president Raul Castro and an activist for the LGBTI community, was the first NO vote on record in the 612-member National Assembly, when she opposed last August a Labor Code bill she said didn’t take into account discrimination against people with HIV or with unconventional gender identities.

The US Supreme Court acknowledged that the right to marry is fundamental. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote that under the 14th Amendment’s protections, “Couples of the same-sex may not be deprived of that right and that liberty.” When will the Cuban parliament recognize the country’s LGBTI community as equal citizens before the law?

(*) Visit Fernando Ravsberg’s website.

6 thoughts on “US Approves Same-Sex Marriage, When will Cuba?

  • Being socialist necessarily involves a bottom-up democratic form of operation.
    If the community were predominantly “culturally liberal” then it would be axiomatic that in a democratic electoral system that the government and the laws would reflect that way of thinking.
    Cuba seems to be many steps ahead of the other traditionally macho developing countries as regards acceptance of homosexuality .
    I would imagine that Cuba’s less-than-religious majority don’t really care what it says in (Bronze Age) Leviticus about killing homosexuals and adulterers as they may well do in many very Christian societies in the hemisphere.
    The answer to anti-gay sentiments is education and democracy.
    So that means that in the more repressive and atavistic societies notably tribal Muslim societies where there is a huge and deliberate illiteracy, such movement toward modern thinking just won’t happen.
    They would actually vote to remain ignorant and in their traditional totalitarian fashion were they allowed to do so .

  • North Korea is extremely culturally repressive as well.

  • Excellent point. In fact, I believe the law in Cuba permits that a person who can prove having lived in a property for more than 5 years some measure of property ownership rights regardless of marital status.

  • Does not the demise of the formal recognition of marriage in Cuba make this a bit of a moot point? There appears to be a large number of Cuban couples that simply live together as a family without the official paperwork. Likewise it appears that many Cubans who go through the formal paperwork for a union do so only to ease property transfers and not because of some emotional bonding.

    So how important is it that Cuba does not recognize same sex marriage when the legal definition of marriage is becoming passe? Same sex couples can live together without paperwork just as heterosexual couples commonly do.

  • The left keeps making a mistake with Cuba politics. Being socialistic does not mean being culturally liberal. Embracing liberal culture will be dangerous for authoritarian Governments. Personal freedom can be addicting.

    Putin takes a very hard line against gays. Iran another repressive regime does likewise. It is not just Cuba.

  • Fernando writes “Maybe things would be very different if debates in the Cuban parliament were public”. What makes Fernando think that there ARE debates? After all, if they are not open to the public, who says they are taking place. Dictatorship 101 teaches us that Raul or his hand-picked lackeys tell the National Parliament what to vote on and then how to vote. So the real question is when will Raul agree to same-sex marriages? My bet is “La China ” will never agree.

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