Paying Off a Debt

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Cubans voted in favor of changing the country’s family code this week in a referendum that would also allow same-sex marriage in the communist country, Reuters reported Tuesday.

The national election commission said nearly 67 percent of voters approved changes to the family code, while 33 percent opposed it. The commission added that voter turnout was 74 percent of the country’s eligible voters.

The government-backed referendum would amend Cuba’s family code to legalize same-sex marriage and civil unions and allow gay couples to adopt children. It would also promote the equal sharing of domestic rights and responsibilities between men and women.

President Miguel Díaz-Canel – who led the campaign for the adoption of the code – said the referendum paid off “a debt with several generations of Cuban men and women, whose family projects have been waiting for this law for years.”

Even so, observers noted that the results were relatively modest by Cuban standards: Referendums in the communist-run nation have seen the government position receiving near-unanimous approval.

Roman Catholic bishops and other religious leaders were vocal in their opposition to the changes.

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