Cuba may become the first Caribbean nation to recognize gay civil rights. Of course, such fag freedoms will only come about if the communist nation’s Parliament reforms the Family Code, a big ‘if’ to say the least. Caribbean 360 reports:
Drawn up by the non-governmental Federation of Cuban Women (FMC) with support from CENESEX, the draft reform of the Family Code has been presented to the Political Bureau, the highest body of the ruling Communist Party…
The proposal would give homosexual couples the same civil and inheritance rights as heterosexual couples. However, it does not mention gay marriage, because a change of that magnitude would require a lengthy process of reforming the constitution, which was last amended in 1992.
While certainly gay marriage’s ideal, activists assert Cuba’s not ready for such a cultural shift.
National Centre for Sex Education director Mariela Castro comments:
That proposal will be made when the time is ripe. For now, it is sufficient to reform the Family Code, which is recognised as a branch of Cuban law.
Post-communist Cuban law prohibited homosexuality for years. In fact, gays were often rounded up and sent to labor camps. Restrictions were later lifted in the 1990′s, when the government reformed homophobic legislation, including 1992′s reversal of anti-sodomy laws. Despite the political progress, many Cubans still discriminate against gays, a trend Family Code reformers hope to truncate:
The Family Code, which was originally approved in 1975 and submitted to a review process by the FMC since about 15 years ago, would now stipulate that the family has the responsibility and duty to accept and care for all of its members, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation.
If the initiative is approved, gay and lesbian couples would enjoy the same civil, patrimonial, inheritance, housing and adoption rights as heterosexual couples.
Though hopeful, Castro and other gay activists aren’t holding their breath for the reform’s passage:
I can’t guarantee that it will reach parliament this year.. That is our hope, but it does not depend on us, and of course, it is facing a great deal of resistance.
Though seemingly accepting, many Cuban politicos aren’t down with the gays. In fact, the government has banned any type of gay pride movement or other queer congregations, organizations or celebrations.