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The Cuban parliament approved changes to its family law that would allow gay marriage, an amendment that has met resistance from the country’s religious community, Reuters reported.
The Families Code would legalize same-sex marriage and civil unions, as well as allow gay couples to adopt children and promote equal sharing of domestic responsibilities. It would also permit prenuptial agreements and surrogate pregnancies, though not for profit.
The changes would also provide greater women’s rights and increased protection for children, the elderly and other family members. Under the new code, parents would have “responsibility” for their children rather than “custody,” and they would be expected to be “respectful of the dignity and physical and mental integrity of children and adolescents.”
Justice Minister Oscar Manuel Silvera said the amended code promoted “love, affection, care, sensitivity, respect for others and the harmony of our families.”
But religious organizations opposed the new law, saying it is “going to bring confrontation.”
The revised Families Code will be put to a referendum on Sept. 25, with organizers saying that 62 percent of Cubans support the change.
That is low by Cuban standards, where the recently ratified new constitution received 86 percent approval.