A new Family Code

Men for Diversity (MxD), a group that has been defending the rights of people of all sexual orientations in Cuba, has asked local authorities to review and pass the new Family Code without further delay.

The bill in question includes several amendments to the Code that has been in force since 1975 and recommends legal recognition of same-sex unions.

A Ministry of Justice report recently indicated that the date for such a review by parliament has not been finalized.

A representative of MxD said that the Federation of Cuban Women, which has been promoting the bill along with the National Association of Cuban Jurists, has already examined, adopted and submitted the bill to the Ministry of Justice, which is expected to present the final version to parliament.

MxD also recommended widely disseminating the bill before it is reviewed by local MPs.

It recalled that a number of Latin American countries (Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Uruguay and Mexico) have legally recognized the rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals, as well as same-sex unions.

MxD thanked the Cuban government for promoting respect for free sexual orientation and gender identity. "The World Day against Homophobia has been observed on the island since 2008," he noted.

"Last June, Cuba strongly supported a United Nations Human Rights Council resolution voicing concern over international acts of violence and discrimination against individuals merely due to their sexual orientation and/or gender identity," he stressed.

"We are willing to cooperate with the relevant authorities to get the bill passed. It will certainly boost social development on the basis of equality and non-discrimination," he remarked.

"The amendments that have been incorporated into the bill only cover one third of all concerns raised," a local jurist regretted.

"The bill does not recognize same-sex marriage because the Constitution of the Republic of Cuba establishes that marriage involves only the union of a man and a woman," he concluded.

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