Gay {couples} in Cuba marry beneath new regulation


SANTA CLARA, Cuba — Critical, standing upright and wearing lengthy gala attire – regardless of the noon Cuban warmth – Lisset and Liusba quietly stroll up the ten steps of the notary workplace, their fingers clenched and shaking.

Lower than a couple of ft forward stroll their two younger daughters.

Almost an hour later, once they walked out of the doorways, the stress on their faces was changed by smiles. From that second, they have been wives.

It turned a risk simply three weeks earlier than on the island when Cuba’s new Household Code – opening up all the things from equal marriage to surrogate moms – got here into impact.

The couple, which has been collectively for seven years, is without doubt one of the first to make the choice to get legally married in Cuba following the code.

“It’s a big day,” stated Liusba Grajales, a supervisor on the central College of Las Villas, simply 250 kilometers from the capital. “Love is love, just the way it is. Without imposition, without prejudice … I don’t know whether I should laugh or cry. It’s a mix of so many strong emotions.”

Just some meters away, Lisset Díaz, a 34-year-old dancer, shared her pleasure. “I feel proud,” she added. “I’m amazed.”

The code was authorized after heavy campaigning by the Cuban authorities, and assist by probably the most vocal advocate for homosexual rights on the island, Mariela Castro, the daughter of former president Raul Castro.

It made Cuba the ninth nation in Latin America – following Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Colombia – to legalize homosexual marriage in recent times.

Cuban elections routinely produce victory margins of greater than 90% — as did a referendum on a serious constitutional reform in 2019.

Regardless of that, a 3rd of the nation, 33.15%, voted “no”. The textual content confronted a big marketing campaign in opposition to it from evangelical teams that reject homosexual marriage.

In the meantime, 66.85% of the Cubans who got here out, voted “yes.” Almost 6% left clean or voided ballots.

The code additionally was rejected by some teams against the federal government, which known as for a “no” vote as a manner of rejecting Cuban authorities amid rising discontent with the federal government of Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez.

It was additionally opposed by some members of the LGBTQ group, which stated they have been abstaining to vote on one thing they thought-about to be a human proper within the first place.

“Many people in the community were against voting “yes” as a result of they don’t consider that they want some paper to inform them they’ve this on paper (to be acknowledged as a pair). I feel we do want the appropriate, that it protects us,” stated Liusba.

Although she stated she believes the island remains to be “a decade away” from turning into a “better and more inclusive” society.

The outdated Household Code, relationship again to 1975, established that marriage was between a person and a girl – not between two individuals – which excluded lifelong companions from issues inheriting the belongings of the opposite when one died.

Collectively, they reside with their two daughters, 11-year-old Laura and three-year-old Ainhoa. The latter was born by insemination at dwelling as a result of on the time that they had no entry to assisted fertility therapies as a result of they didn’t have male companions.

The brand new regulation goes additional than equal marriage – which activists tried to incorporate within the Structure in 2019 with out success – or the power for homosexual {couples} to undertake or use surrogates.

The regulation regulates for the primary time visitation rights of grandparents over grandchildren and communication with step mother and father in conditions of divorces, and even custody of minors in latter when it’s mandatory for the kid’s welfare.

It additionally permits for separate property regimens for married {couples}, authorizes mother and father to decide on the order of their kids’s surnames, extends protections for the disabled and aged, amongst different rights.

The ladies thought-about the wedding a approach to additionally defend their kids if one thing have been to ever occur to them.

Ainhoa, additionally wearing her finest gown for the event, didn’t fairly perceive her mom’s wedding ceremony, however walked round introducing her Laura. “She is my sister,” she repeated.

“I’m happy for what the wedding means,” Laura added to The Related Press very circumspectly, wiping tears away alongside her moms.

Nevertheless it got here from sturdy opposition from evangelical church buildings, which alleged the regulation was in opposition to the “traditional family” established by God, that they declare is the union of a person and a girl meant to procreate. In some rural areas, the code appeared to obtain much less assist.

Whereas the nation’s capital of Havana obtained 70% approval, and Villa Clara – dwelling of Liusba and Lisset – obtained 66%, in southeastern Holguin it acquired 53%.

The pushback “indicates that we have to keep working in those areas and deepen and direct educational work,” stated Francisco “Paquito” Rodriguez, a blogger and one of many first Cuban activists for the rights of the LGBTQ group.

Although he nonetheless known as the brand new code a victory.

Cuban authorities didn’t disclose what number of homosexual {couples} have been married in these three weeks, though Rodriguez thinks it might be at the very least dozen based mostly on the data he’s gotten from social media.

“In 2007, we celebrated for the first time the International Day for the Fight Against Homophobia and Transphobia in Cuba. It took 15 years of fighting to make it law,” Rodriguez stated. “It seems like a long time in the life of an individual, but it’s an achievement in the course of our history.”

Andrea Rodríguez is on Twitter:

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