Cubans approve gay marriage by large margin in referendum


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HAVANA, Sept. 26 (Reuters) – Cubans overwhelmingly approved same-sex marriage and adoption in a referendum on Sunday, backed by the government, which also strengthened women’s rights, the national election commission said Monday.

More than 3.9 million voters voted in favor of ratification of the code (66.9%), while 1.95 million voted against ratification (33%), said committee chair Alina Balseiro Gutierrez on state television on Monday.

“Justice has been done,” Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel wrote in a tweet.

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“It pays off a debt of several generations of Cuban men and women, whose family projects have been waiting for this law for years,” he said.

The 100-page “family law” legalizes same-sex marriage and civil unions, allows same-sex couples to adopt children, and promotes equal sharing of domestic rights and responsibilities between men and women.

Preliminary results from the election commission showed that 74% of the 8.4 million Cubans eligible to vote participated in Sunday’s referendum.

There are no independent observers in the Cuban elections, although citizens can observe the count on their property. Spread local reports of neighborhood censuses on social media seemed to match the official results.

The announcement of the results came as Diaz-Canel chaired an emergency meeting as the Caribbean island prepared for Hurricane Ian to cross its western tip early Tuesday.

Official Twitter accounts showed the crowd erupting in applause and the president sitting back and smiling at the news. The Cuban president led the campaign for the code’s adoption.

By Cuban standards, Sunday’s turnout was relatively modest, and a relatively large 33% ‘no’ vote in the communist country, where the government’s position in previous referendums was almost unanimously approved.

The disagreement is indicative of both how Cuba is changing and the current difficult economic conditions, which have resulted in long power cuts and lines for food, medicine and fuel.

Sunday’s vote was also the first of its kind, as most residents have access to the internet, causing dissent more widely.

(The story corrects the reference to the referendum which was the first since mobile internet was legalized in the last paragraph)

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Reporting by Marc Frank, editing by Rosalba O’Brien

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voice
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


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