Two men named Alberto and José were the first gay couple in Cuba to legalize their union after the referendum that ratified the Family Code. At least, it is the first marriage documented by official means, from the eastern territory of Granma.
The couple, who had been in a relationship for 18 years, made their relationship official last Tuesday before a notary in Manzanillo (Granma province), journalist Roberto Mesa Matos, from the state radio station CMKX Radio Bayamo, explained on his Facebook profile. The National Center for Sex Education (CENESEX) also shared the information on its social networks.
The wedding ceremony was held in the house shared by the men, “in a family atmosphere and with the complicity of dozens of friends who wanted Alberto and José to be completely happy,” according to the reporter’s account.
The marriage took place on the same day that Cuba’s National Electoral Council (CEN) confirmed the victory of the “Yes” in the referendum that put into force the Family Code, a legislative package that includes adoption by gay couples and surrogacy, among other issues.
“Well, I never thought they would approve (the code) here, but we always wanted it,” said Alberto, while his partner argued that this legislation brought him “the happiness of achieving a dream cherished for years.”
The new Family Code, which replaced the 1975 code, includes historic demands from the LGBTIQ+ community in Cuba, where until a few decades ago homosexuals suffered rejection and discrimination, and were even interned in military labor camps, the so-called UMAP.
Same-sex marriage was one of the most controversial issues of the code in the discussions prior to its ratification at the polls, because it encountered criticism and opposition from the most conservative sectors of Cuban society and also from various Christian churches.
The text contemplates issues such as the prohibition of child marriage, addresses gender violence, and recognizes rights that favor children, the elderly and disabled people.
In addition, it places Cuba together with Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Ecuador, Uruguay, and most of the states of Mexico as the ninth Latin American country that has legalized same-sex marriage.