As countries around the world continue to recognise the LGBT community, according to multiple news reports, Cuban president Miguel Diaz-Canel has become the country’s first leader to support same-sex marriage. The revelation comes as Cuba is set to vote on a new constitution next year.
Diaz-Canel, who replaced Raul Castro in April, said that is in favour of recognizing “marriage between people, without limitation” in order to eliminate “all types of discrimination in society.”
“We’ve been going through a massive thought evolution and many taboos have been broken,” Diaz-Canel said.
Cuban citizens will vote on the issue in a national referendum in February 2019.
The Cuban Constitution and domestic laws contain prohibitions on same-sex marriage and the country does not recognise civil unions or any other kind of partnership.
Cuba currently operates under its 1976 national charter, which defines marriage as a “voluntary union of a man and a woman.” In the proposed constitution, which was approved by the Cuban parliament in June, new language was added to define marriage as a union between “two people.”
The shift in the Cuban leadership’s attitude toward same-sex marriage is largely attributed to the efforts of Mariela Castro, the daughter of former Cuban president Raul Castro.
As the director of the Cuban National Center for Sex Education, the younger Castro received international support for condemning homophobic attacks in Cuba and advocating for same-sex marriage.