Cuba’s government has urged citizens to approve a new LGBTQ-friendly legislative package that would introduce same-sex marriage and allow queer couples to adopt children.
Cuba is holding a referendum on its new family code - which includes significant advances for LGBTQ equality - on 25 September.
In recent weeks, the government has launched a campaign urging voters to support the proposed changes and adopt the new family code. Opposition has come from religious leaders.
In order to be approved, the proposed changes must be supported by over 50% of voters. Current polls indicate that there is sufficient support for the changes to be adopted.
What's life like for LGBTQ people in Cuba?
What's life like for LGBTQ people in Cuba? Let's take a look at some of the key equality indicators.
Prior to the 1950s, Cuba was a socially conservative society. Things took a turn for the worse for the LGBTQ community following the Cuban revolution, with anyone who was perceived as ‘different’ viewed as a potential threat to national security. From the early 1960’s LGBTQ people were systematically targeted and imprisoned in labour camps. This persecution continued into the 1970s.
Same-sex relationships were decriminalised in 1979, but it wasn’t until the late 1980s that social attitudes began to change and there was less discrimination against the LGBTQ community.
Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity is now illegal in Cuba, following legislation that was passed in 2018. These anti-discrimination protections were subsequently enshrined in the constitution of Cuba.