The president of Cuba has expressed his feelings on the reason why same-sex marriage and other LGBT rights should be legalised in his country. This comes ahead of a vote that could seal the rights of gay and transgender couples to be joined in matrimony in the Cuban constitution.
According to president Miguel Diaz-Canel, in an interview with television station Telesur of the constitutional change, he said: “The approach of recognising marriage between two people, without limitations, responds to a problem of eliminating all types of discrimination in society,”
The amended is part of Cuba’s proposed new constitution and is going to change the definition of marriage from a voluntary union between a man and a woman to a voluntary union between two people. The new constitution which has been approved by parliament is set to head to the national referendum by 2019. President Diaz noted that “We’ve been going through a massive thought evolution and many taboos have been broken,”
A major advocate for LGBT rights in Cuba is Miriela Castro, the daughter of the former Cuban president, Mr Rual Castro who was replaced in April. Miriela announced in May that she would be advocating for the provision of the same-sex marriage rights in the new constitution and that is what she has done as the director of the Cuban national centre for sex education located in Havana.
Cuba is about to become one of the most liberal countries in the American continent as a result of this constitutional change. It is noteworthy that Fidel Castro’s government in the 1960s and 70s had sent gay people into labour camps forcefully, but the new government took the take of apologising for that.
However, not everyone thinks praising the government’s new decision is all the work that should be done. When miss Castro announced her intention to struggle for the constitutional change, the president of Miami-based Unity Coalition/Coalicion Unida, Heriberto Sosa, shared with NBC news that “As important as gay marriage would be for LGBTQ people on the island, human rights come first. If she really wants to help Cuba, she should fight for freedom of speech, freedom to vote and the welfare of all Cubans.”
The new Cuban constitution prohibits discrimination against persons on the basis of gender identity or sexuality.