Cubans vote in referendum on same-sex marriage

HAVANA, Cuba (CMC) – Cubans are voting on Sunday in a landmark referendum on whether to legalise same-sex marriage and adoption, allow surrogate pregnancies and give greater rights to non-biological parents.

More than eight million Cubans over 16 are invited to vote “Yes” or “No” amid the country’s worst economic crisis in 30 years.

If approved, the new family code would replace a law in effect since 1975 and define marriage as the union between two people, rather than that of a man and a woman.

The new family code, that would represent a major shift in Cuba, would also permit surrogate pregnancies, as long as no money changes hands, while boosting children’s rights and those of the elderly and people with disabilities.

“The family code sets out above all respect for human beings, respect for each (person) and everyone,” said President Miguel Diaz-Canel.

Polling stations will be open from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm local time.

Meanwhile, the Conference of Bishops recently reiterated its opposition to some of the key provisions of the new code, such as allowing surrogate pregnancies.

“It is unethical… when a woman who has carried a baby in her womb for nine months must hand it over to others straight after birth,” the bishops said.

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